ESPN-Star, Doordarshan To Telecast London Olympics In India

SPN-Star Sports plans to telecast the London Olympics live on three networks in India - ESPN, Star Sports and ESPN HD.

The programming mix on the 3 networks will be as follows - ESPN will showcase events featuring Indian athletes, and those sports which are more popular in India, such as hockey, football, badminton, tennis, wrestling, shooting and boxing. Star Sports would focus on more global/niche sports like gymnastics, equestrian and volleyball, while ESPN HD will be a blend of the two channels.

In addition to the live television broadcast of the individual competitions, the opening and closing ceremonies, and also a daily highlights show will be telecast.

ESPN-Star Sports has the rights to broadcast 240 hours of programming every day for the duration of 15 days, which makes it almost 3,600 hours of television programming.

Doordarshan Sports, the national broadcaster's sports channel, will telecast the Opening and Closing ceremonies live, and in addition will have 14 hours of telecast every day, starting from 12.30 pm onwards. Sports with a strong Indian presence, like hockey, archery, boxing and badminton, will be shown live.

Doordarshan National will have an India-specific highlights show, including a 30 minute program at 7.30 am and another highlights show at 9.00 am everyday.

Akashvani, also known as All India Radio, will provide live radio coverage of the Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony and all of India’s hockey matches. These live broadcast will be available on its national channel, as well as AIR FM Gold (106.4 MHz), while state capital Kendras can also relay them.

The London Olympics begin on July 27 and ends on August 12.

The Financial Aspects of Olympic Broadcasting

Based on article by Vidhi Choudhary courtesy

oordarshan generated advertising revenue of 6 crore from the 2000 Olympics, 6 crore from the 2004 Olympics, and 7.5 crores from the 2008 Olympics.

However, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi was a game changer, when Doordarshan earned 80 crore in revenue. Bolstered by these revenue numbers, Doordarshan is expecting 20 crore in advertising revenue from the London Olympics.

Doordarshan’s telecast sponsors include Jeevan Beema Nigam (also known as LIC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and Department of Consumer Affairs. It is also working on sponsorship deals with Human Resource Development Ministry, Tourism Ministry and two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp.

Doordarshan had paid $4 million back in 2008 as broadcasting rights fees for a Winter-Summer Olympic package (2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, 2012 Summer Games in London). This deal was signed with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) - a non-profit, non-government, professional association that handles global sporting events for free-to-air, satellite, terrestrial and direct-to-home platforms.

ESPN has Olympic telecast rights for 22 countries, spanning the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Advertising inventory for the event is still open, and deals are in the process of being negotiated with global brands associated with the Olympics, such as Coca Cola, McDonalds and Samsung.

Yoga, Diet and iPads feature in India's Preparation

Photography by Rajeev Bhatt, courtesy The Hindu

he Indian team is practising Yoga daily for 40 minutes to enhance mental strength. Trainer David John also has a daily mental visualisation session for the past month.

Said Indian captain Bharat Chhetri, "We take part in mental visualisation sessions before every match. David makes us imagine real match situations according to the opponent, and how we will react in those situations."

John also focussed on the diet of the Olympic-bound players. Says David, "We have 7 vegetarians in the team. In order to ensure they were getting enough protein to put on muscles and recover from training sessions, I had them take whey protein, which is a vegetarian substitute, along with protein shakes, 4-5 times a day. The players are now stronger and more resilient to injuries."

coach Michael Nobbs arranged for each Olympic-bound player as well as the support staff to be given an Apple iPad, to serve as a personalised training tool. He stores match videos, reports and replays on the device, and uses the tablet plus stylus to draw up game plays and strategies.

Chennai-based Sports Mechanics, an Indian sports performance analytics firm, provides analysis and detailed reports of various matches and players to Nobbs, who then looks at them on the go on his iPad.

In team meetings, Nobbs just connects his iPad to a television using a standard HDMI cable, and shares training videos, drills and plays with the squad members.

Nobbs uses apps such as 'AVPlayer HD' to enable videos and replays to be played in slow motion for analysis, 'iPlayBook Field Hockey HD' for drawing match plays and strategies, and'GoodReader for iPad' - a PDF reader with annotations and highlighting support.

Reference Book on Indian Hockey Olympians Released

book titled "Profiles of Indian Hockey Olympians", authored by hockey historian Arumugam, has hit the stands, just in time for the Olympics.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken and former Law Minister Arun Jaitly jointly released the book, at a felicitation function in Delhi to the London bound Indian team. The book has 226 pages, is hard-bound, and has profiles of 210 men's hockey Olympians produced by India thus far.

The book venture was supported by Hockey India, who purchased a substantial number of copies, thus making the work economically viable.

The book costs 880, which includes courier charges to send to your address. Please contact the author at to find out how to purchase the book.

India Win Silver In 6th Jr. Women's Asia Cup in Bangkok

India vs. Singapore in the 6th Jr. Women's Asia Cup, Photo courtesy AP

he 6th Junior Women's Asia Cup hockey tournament was played at Bangkok, Thailand, from June 27 to July 7. The participating countries were as follows:

Pool A: India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka
Pool B: South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Thailand

Four-time bronze medallist India finished with the silver in the tournament, with the following match results:

Stage Date Result Goals Scorers - India
Pool June 27 India 16 - Sri Lanka 0 Navneet Kaur (6 min)
Anupa Barla - 3 goals
Vandana Katariya - 3 goals
Poonam Rani (17 m-PC + 2 more PCs)
Mayengam Lily Chanu (22 min)
Susheela Chanu (PC)
Deep Grace Ekka (44 min), PS
Ritu Rani (3 goals)
  June 28 India 9 - Singapore 0 Vandana Katariya (6 min), PC
Anupa Barla (13 min)
Poonam Rani (22 m-PC + 2 goals)
Mayengam Lily Chanu (34 min)
Ritu Rani (57 m-PC + 2 more PCs)
  July 2 China 5 - India 2 Vandana Katariya (33 min)
Anupa Barla (57 min)
  July 3 India 2 - Malaysia 1 Anupa Barla (52 min)
Ritu Rani (65 min), PC
Semis July 5 India 2 - Japan 1 (GG) Vandana Katariya (49 min), PC
Poonam Rani (79 min)
Final July 7 China 5 - India 2 Deep Grace Ekka (7 min), PS
Ritu Rani (11 min)

The final positions were as follows: 1 - China, 2 - India, 3 - Korea, 4 - Japan, 5 - Malaysia, 6 - Thailand, 7 - Sri Lanka, 8 - Pakistan, 9 - Singapore, 10 - Kazakhstan

The top 3 teams qualified for the 2013 Junior Women' World Cup.

The Indian team for the 6th Junior Women's Asia Cup was as follows:

Goalkeepers: Sukhmani Virk, Bigan Soy

Defenders: Pinki Devi, Deep Grace Ekka, Manjeet Kaur

Midfielders: P. Susheela Chanu, Nikki Pradhan, Monika Malik, Namita Toppo, Kiran Dahiya, Ritu Rani (captain)

Forwards: Poonam Rani (vice-captain), Vandana Katariya, Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Mayengam Lily Chanu

Photograph of the Month

Photograph courtesy - Hindu Archives

he Photograph of the Month for July 2012 is of the 1948 Indian Olympic team at an exhibition match in Delhi, on their return from London.

It was September 1948. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was the Governor General of India. The Indian Olympic hockey team had just returned from London, where they won independent India's first Olympic gold medal.

A match was arranged at National Stadium in Delhi between the victorious Indian Olympic team (captained by Kishan Lal) and the Rest of India team (captained by Dhyan Chand).

1948 Olympic hero Balbir Singh Sr. scored the only goal of the match to give the Olympians victory. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru congratulated each of the Olympic team members and told them, "Look to the next challenge and prepare for it in right earnest."

Money Matters

ockey India has named 32 junior men hockey players to be given a monthly stipend of 10,000 each to help reduce the financial burden on their families.

The payments will be made quarterly, starting immediately from the quarter of July-September 2012. In addition, goalkeeping kits will be provided to three shortlisted goalkeepers.

The list of 32 junior men players getting the monthly stipend includes 13 members of the Indian team that won the bronze medal in the 7th Jr. Men's Asia Cup held in May 2012 in Malacca, Malaysia.

Hockey India has already announced the list of 32 Junior Women players who will also get this monthly stipend.

Media Matters

Photograph courtesy The Star

he autobiography of noted hockey umpire Datuk G. Vijayanath, titled "Memoirs of Mr. Hockey", was released at a book launch function in Kuala Lumpur. The book launch was attended by close to 500 of his friends, as well as hockey players from the 1975 World Cup squad.

Viji, as he is popularly known, was rated the top hockey umpire in the world between 1973-76, a period which included 2 World Cups and 2 Olympics. Viji was also the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary for 26 years. He was in charge of hockey at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The 638-page hardcover book, edited by noted journalist R. Nadeswaran, was launched by Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, former chief secretary to the Government and the chef-de-mission of the Malaysian contingent to the London Olympics.

"This book is dedicated to my late wife for over 51 years, R. Rajaletchmy. It is the least I can do for her sacrifices. No amount of words can describe her contribution to my 6-decades long hockey career. After my retirement from the civil service, she would take the trouble to save my pension for my hockey activities. In fact, I was never interested in writing this book. My daughters - Anushya and Sasha - encouraged me to write this book. And today I am here to present my memoirs," said a tearful Vijayanathan.

He has also gained fame for umpiring the 1975 Kuala Lumpur World Cup final between India and Pakistan (along with Alan Renaud of France), where he awarded the 'controversial' goal to India which clinched them the World Cup with a 2-1 score. This remains to date India's only World Cup Hockey victory.

In the 1975 World Cup final, played in front of about 50,000 fans at the Merdeka Stadium, India were trailing 0-1 at half time but came back strongly in the second half to win 2-1. The disputed goal came from Ashok Kumar, son of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand.

“The match was the best I had umpired. If the match had gone to extra time, Pakistan may have won. But they were crippled when Samiullah left the field with a collar bone injury. But I was firm in my decision as I was the nearest when Ashok Kumar scored. There was an uproar but I knew it was a legitimate goal", said Viji.

“The book is not for sale. I don’t have any intention to make a profit from the book," said Viji.

Visitor of the Month

Triple Olympian Balbir Singh Sr. with Mike Sharrock, BP's Partnership Director, at the Royal Opera House

he July 2012 Visitor of the Month is Dil Bahra from London, who wrote the following to

The Royal Opera House and BP have joined forces with the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to create a unique Olympic-themed exhibition in London.

Hockey is represented in the exhibition through the experiences of Balbir Singh Sr., the triple Olympic gold medallist, who is one of 16 iconic Olympians featured in this free exhibition.

Balbir rose to fame at the London 1948 Olympic Games where he spearheaded independent India's first Olympic gold medal. Balbir went on to win two more gold medals for India, at Helsinki in 1952 and at Melbourne in 1956, where he was the captain.

The National Hockey Museum in England coordinated Balbir's visit to the Royal Opera House.

The exhibition will run from Saturday, 28 July to Sunday, 12 August 2012, 10 am to 7 pm each day.

Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he July 2012 edition of Fun with Numbers is on the Indian men's and women's teams' records in Olympic hockey.


Indian men have won the highest number of gold medals, and highest overall number of medals, in the Olympic hockey competition.

Balkrishan Singh is the only Indian player to have won an Olympic gold medal both as a player (1956) and as a coach (1980).

Balkrishan Singh has participated in the maximum number of Olympic hockey competitions for India (5) - 4 as a coach and 1 as a player.

*There were 2 occasions when India had 2 captains in the Olympic hockey tournament - in 1928 (when captain Jaipal Singh opted out of the last 2 games of the hockey competition was replaced by Eric Penniger as captain), and in 1968 (when Gurbaksh Singh was made joint captain to Prithipal Singh).

+Till 1948, only Managers travelled with the Indian Olympic team, and doubled up as unofficial coaches.

Year Venue P W L D GF GA Captain Coach Rank
1928 Amsterdam 5 5 0 0 29 0 Jaipal Singh* A. B. Rosser+ 1
1932 Los Angeles 2 2 0 0 35 2 Lal Shah Bokhari G. D. Sondhi+ 1
1936 Berlin 5 5 0 0 38 1 Dhyan Chand Pankaj Gupta+ 1
1948 London 5 5 0 0 25 2 Kishan Lal A. C. Chatterjee+ 1
1952 Helsinki 3 3 0 0 13 2 K. D. Singh 'Babu' Harbail Singh 1
1956 Melbourne 5 5 0 0 38 0 Balbir Singh Sr. Harbail Singh 1
1960 Rome 6 5 1 0 19 2 Leslie Claudius Kishan Lal 2
1964 Tokyo 9 7 0 2 22 5 Charanjeet Singh Dharam Singh 1
1968 Mexico City 9 7 2 0 23 7 Prithipal Singh* Balkrishan Singh 3
1972 Munich 9 6 1 2 27 11 Harmeek Singh K. D. Singh 'Babu' 3
1976 Montreal 8 4 3 1 17 13 Ajitpal Singh Gurbaksh Singh 7
1980 Moscow 6 4 0 2 43 9 V. Bhaskaran Balkrishan Singh 1
1984 Los Angeles 7 5 1 1 20 11 Zafar Iqbal Balkrishan Singh 5
1988 Seoul 7 2 3 2 16 15 M. M. Sommayya M. P. Ganesh 6
1992 Barcelona 7 3 4 0 7 12 Pargat Singh Balkrishan Singh 7
1996 Atlanta 7 2 2 3 14 10 Pargat Singh Cedric D'Souza 8
2000 Sydney 7 3 2 2 13 10 Ramandeep Singh V. Bhaskaran 7
2004 Athens 7 2 4 1 16 18 Dileep Tirkey Gerhard Rach 7
TOTAL 18 Olympics 114 75 23 16 415 130     8G, 1S, 2B


The Indian women's hockey team has only 1 Olympic appearance, in which it failed to win any medal.

Year Venue P W L D GF GA Captain Coach Rank
1980 Moscow 5 2 2 1 9 6 Roopa Saini Kartar Singh 4