Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has successfully acquired exclusive broadcast rights for the Durand Cup 2023 (132nd edition) in India for the next two years between 2023 and 2024. As part of the partnership, over the next two years, the broadcaster will be able to telecast the oldest competition in Asian football on its sports channels in India as well as the subcontinent: Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
The Durand Cup 2023 will begin on August 3, with matches being played at different venues in Kolkata, Guwahati, and Kokrajhar till September 3, featuring 24 teams, up from 20 last year vying for the prestigious prize. Viewers can watch the tournament live on Sony Sports Ten 2 channels and the matches will also be available for livestreaming exclusively on SPN's premium OTT platform, SonyLIV.
Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, the then Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, first started the tournament in 1888. Asia's oldest football tournament and the third oldest in the World will witness participation from all 12 ISL teams, alongside five I-League teams, one I-League 2 and regional team, three army teams from India, and one club each from Nepal and Bangladesh.
Durand Cup 2023 will feature six groups, each hosted at three venues – Kolkata, Guwahati, and Assam. The highly anticipated semi-final and final matches will happen at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. In the group stage, the top team from each group will directly qualify for the quarter-finals, while the two best second-placed teams based on points will complete the top eight teams. Bengaluru FC had the honor of lifting the silverware last time out after beating rivals Mumbai City FC.
Prominent among them will be the Kolkata derby, one of the biggest footballing derbies in the world, between Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Emami East Bengal. Others include the Kerala derby between ISL side Kerala Blasters and 2019 champions Gokulam Kerala and the two southern derbies between Hyderabad FC and Chennaiyin FC and champions Bengaluru FC and Gokulam Kerala. The North-East derby will also feature a clash between North-East United FC and Shillong Lajong.