Next year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi has earned $60 million (£37 million) from selling the television rights, $20 million (£12 million) more than expected, organisers have announced as international inspectors arrived in the Indian capital to check on preparations for the event.
Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the local organising committee, revealed they had targeted $40 million (£24.6 million) from selling television rights, but they have already managed $60 million in rights negotiated by London-based company Fast Track.
He said: "We have crossed our target and we are going to touch $60 million by selling television rights.
"We have struck a good deal with broadcasters in Australia and Britain by sorting out the timing of the disciplines which are popular in these countries.
"The Commonwealth Games is going to be a revenue-neutral event.
"We have taken $2.6 billion (£1.5 billion) from the Government and we will be in a position to repay the amount.
"We will raise the money through sponsorship, TV rights, merchandising and ticket sales."
Kalmadi announced details of the television package shortly after Hero Honda and National Thermal Power Corporation both signed deals to become sponsors of the Games, which are due to open on October 3, 2010, and are the biggest event to be held in India since the 1982 Asian Games.
The positive news helped ensure that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Coordination Commission visit gets off to a good start.
But Austin Sealy, the chairman of the Coordination Commission, said it was too early to judge how preparations were going despite visiting several venues ahead of the official start of the inspection on Monday.
He said: “All I can say is that the process has started.
"It is too early to speak to the media."
The seven-member Commission will be briefed by different agencies on the current status of work and the organising committee will make a presentation on operational matters.
Mike Hooper, the chief executive of the CGF, said that he had already seen positive signs of progress.
He said: "There is a noticeable progress in work after the whole issue came into the limelight.
"But we will get a clear picture when the organising committee and various agencies make their presentations.
“There are a wide range of issues related to completion of venues and on the operations that will be discussed during the CoCom meeting.
"We will analyse everything."
Article Courtesy of Inside the Games. Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]