Senior Israel Football Association officials have expressed much concern regarding revenues from the sale of television broadcasting rights for the 2005/6 soccer season.
The IFA's concerns were compounded last week after Channel 2 franchisees Reshet and Keshet failed to acquire the tender booklet, and did not submit an offer to purchase the rights to air the main game of each round of action.
IFA officials were sure that Keshet and Reshet would be the first to submit bids in light of the renewed competition with Channel 10 and Channel 1. Just over a month ago, Reshet and Keshet were awarded the license to operate Channel 2 for the next 10 years, and the IFA had delayed the process of the sale of TV rights for the coming season to allow the two franchisees to prepare themselves for it.
The IFA was expecting a winning offer of $6-9 million for the rights to air the main game of the week; now, without an offer from Channel 2, IFA officials realize the chances of securing such a bid are negligible.
The final date for submitting bids is Tuesday. However, in light of the current situation, the IFA has already decided to extend the period for submitting offers by another two weeks. Senior IFA officials have had talks with the Reshet and Keshet managements, which have asked for a few weeks to reconsider the tender.
"I have no doubt that Reshet and Keshet will submit a bid," IFA chairman Itche Menachem said yesterday. "All they need is a little more time to make preparations."
Only after selling the TV rights to the main game of each round will the IFA begin the costing process for the broadcasting of the remaining games of each round. In total, the IFA is hoping to receive $12-14 million from the sale of TV rights for the coming season.
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