While the Indian athletes are making India proud at the ongoing Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Indian government finds itself in the spotlight once again due to the 2010 Delhi CWG. According to a report by TOI, a UK-based broadcast firm, Sports Information Services (SIS), which was responsible for the global coverage of the Games has written a letter to Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who is also the junior I&B minister, seeking an immediate payment of Rs 250 crore (£28 million), which is pending as part of its contract fee for telecasting the Games along with Doordarshan, the host broadcaster.
SIS is an outside broadcast arm of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It was also involved in the international coverage of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. In his letter, SIS chief executive Richard Ames drew Rathore’s attention to the fact that India has not settled its bill for the 2010 CWG in Delhi. “Today, our claim (with interest to date) exceeds £28 million,” Ames wrote.
He also underlined the way in which SIS was treated by the subsequent Indian governments which has caused a real concern in the international broadcast sporting circles. “It’s clearly damaging to India’s standing in the international world of sports and of broadcasting,” Ames wrote.
He said that since India refused to settle the bills even 8 years after the tournament, a formal letter of complaint was written by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president (Louise Martin) to one of Rathore’s predecessors, but no payment was made.
SIS had entered into a contract for the broadcast of Commonwealth Games in 2009. The tournament was marred by allegations of financial misappropriation which were also found by the V K Shunglu committee report which investigated the charges of corruption in the broadcasting sector.
In the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Australia, India have won 25 medals so far including 12 Gold.