Rangers announced an ‘exciting collaboration’ with the Indian Super League on Friday morning with the impact of the deal felt within hours [Rangers.co.uk].
The Gers already have a partnership with ISL club Bengaluru FC and recently struck a broadcast deal with STAR Sports which has led to Rangers games and other Premiership fixtures being shown in India.
The club clearly weren’t satisfied with those initial arrangements, though, and they’ve now brokered an additional deal with the ISL itself.
As a result, Rangers have secured the rights to show selected Hero ISL matches for free to UK viewers via their Facebook page.
“This innovative partnership with the ISL represents a further pillar in Rangers international strategy and cements our ambition to develop a meaningful and long-lasting relationship with the growing Indian football fan base,” said Rangers’ commercial and marketing director, James Bisgrove, as quoted by Rangers.co.uk.
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The CEO of the Gers’ partner club, Bengaluru FC, who will feature in many of the upcoming matches to be shown by the club, also hailed the new arrangement.
“It is fantastic that our partnership with Rangers has now furthered to one with the Indian Super League, a competition that is only growing on all fronts with every passing season,” said Mandar Tamhane [Rangers.co.uk].
“We are aware of the big presence of the Indian community in the UK and the fact that they will have free access to ISL games is something that will keep them closer to home.”
The deal took effect just hours after the announcement, with a fixture between East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan shown live on the Rangers Facebook page at 2pm.
Robbie Fowler, a former teammate of both Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister at Liverpool, is the new manager of East Bengal and is reportedly trying to bring former Rangers striker Joe Garner to the emerging league [Daily Mail].
It looks as though Fowler’s side could do with some more firepower, too, as they lost what was their opening game of the season 2-0.
Bengaluru FC’s second game of the campaign, against Hyderabad FC, will be shown live on Saturday afternoon at 2pm.