Mumbai, July 20, 2023Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has acquired the exclusive media rights to broadcast the Durand Cup in India between 2023 and 2024. As part of the deal, over the next two years, the broadcaster will televise the legendary football tournament, currently in its 132nd glorious Edition, on its sports channels in India as well as across the subcontinent: Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

The 132nd edition of the Durand Cup will kickstart on 3rd August 2023 and will witness a total of 43 high-octane matches between 24 teams, up from 20 last year. The finals are scheduled for 3rd September 2023. Audiences 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.

First played in 1888, the Durand Cup is Asia’s oldest football tournament and the third oldest in the World. Started by Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, the then Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, the Durand Cup is the only tournament in India that pits all Indian Super League (Indian top division) teams against top I-League (second division) and other division teams, as well as teams from the Armed Forces, against each other.

The iconic tournament is conducted by the Durand Football Tournament Society (DFTS), whose President is the Chief of Defence Staff, with the Service Chiefs of the Army, Airforce, and Navy, being its Vice-Presidents. Organized by the Indian Army, on behalf of the three Services, the tournament is currently being conducted by Eastern Command. It is also unique in the sense that it rewards the winners with three glittering trophies, the Durand Cup (a rolling trophy and the original prize), the Shimla Trophy (also a rolling trophy and given by the residents of Shimla in 1904) and the President’s Cup (for permanent retention and presented by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President, in 1956).

The 24 teams of the 132nd Edition have been divided into six groups of four teams each. Three of these groups will play their matches in Kolkata, while Guwahati and Kokrajhar in Assam, will host two and one group respectively. Guwahati and Kokrajhar will also host one quarter-final each, while the rest of the knockout games will be played in Kolkata. This year’s tournament will also see the participation of foreign teams after a gap of 27 years, with the Army teams of Nepal and Bangladesh also confirmed their participation.

Football fans are set for a treat, particularly given the many popular derbies lined up on the roster. 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.

The previous 131st edition, witnessed Indian legend Sunil Chhetri lift his first ever Durand Cup, a tournament where he was initially spotted, when his Bengaluru FC defeated Mumbai City FC 2-1 in a high-octane final at Kolkata’s hallowed Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), the venue of this year’s final as well.

 Watch the LIVE coverage of Durand Cup 2023 on Sony Sports Ten 2 channels as well as livestream on SonyLIV starting 3rd August  2023 from 6.00 pm IST

 About Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited (formerly known as Sony Pictures Networks India):

Sony Pictures Networks India is the consumer-facing identity of Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited, which is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation, Japan.

The Company has several channels including Sony Entertainment Television (SET and SET HD), one of India’s leading Hindi general entertainment television channels; Sony MAX, India’s premium Hindi movies and special events channel; Sony MAX 2, another Hindi movie channel showcasing great India Cinema; Sony MAX HD, a high definition Hindi movie channel airing premium quality films; Sony WAH, the Hindi movies channel for rural markets; Sony SAB and Sony SAB HD the family-oriented Hindi comedy entertainment channels; Sony PAL, a genre leader in rural Hindi speaking markets (HSM) showcasing the best of Hindi general entertainment and Hindi movies from its content library; Sony PIX and Sony PIX HD, Sony BBC Earth and Sony BBC Earth HD, the premium factual entertainment channels, Sony AATH, the Bangla entertainment channel; Sony YAY!, the kids entertainment channel; Sony Sports Network – Sony Sports Ten 1,  Sony Sports Ten 1 HD, Sony Sports Ten 2, Sony Sports Ten 2 HD, Sony Sports Ten 3, Sony Sports Ten 3 HD; Sony Sports Ten 4, Sony Sports Ten 4 HD; Sony Sports Ten 5; Sony Sports Ten 5 HD; Sony Marathi, the Marathi general entertainment channel; Sony LIV – the digital entertainment VOD platform and Studio NEXT the independent production venture for original content and IPs for TV and digital media. The Company reaches out to over 700 million viewers in India and is available in 167 countries.

The Company is recognised as an employer of choice within and outside the media industry. It is a recipient of several awards, including India’s Best Companies to Work For 2021 by the Great Place to Work® Institute, India, ‘Aon Best Employers India’ awards in recognition of the company’s unique workplace culture and exceptional people practices, consistently ranking amongst India’s Top 10 Companies with Best Health & Wellness Practices by SHRM & CGP Partners and listed by Working Mother & AVTAR as one of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India.

The Company is in its 28th year of operations in India. Besides having overseas subsidiaries, it has a subsidiary MSM-Worldwide Factual Media Private Limited, and an affiliate, Bangla Entertainment Private Limited in India.

About Durand Cup

A symbol of India’s football history and culture, the Durand Cup is Asia’s oldest and the world’s third oldest football tournament, held mostly between top Indian football clubs across divisions. Organized by the Indian Armed Forces, the Durand Cup has been the breeding ground for India’s best footballing talent, over the years.

The inaugural edition happened in Shimla in 1888, when it started off as an Army Cup, open only to the British Indian Army troops in India, but soon opened up to civilian teams. Named after its founder, Sir Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary of British India from 1884 to 1894, the iconic tournament reached its 132nd Edition in 2023. Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal have been the most successful teams, winning the tournament 16 times each.


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