The Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games has fallen more than 80 per cent short of its revenue target, according to Sports Minister M.S. Gill.

While the OC was expected to generate Rs. 1708 crore, it only managed to rake in a measly Rs. 327 crore — just over 19 per cent of the expected figure. Mr. Gill admitted the shortfall in response to a question in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

On the other hand, the OC got more money from the government than originally expected, with its expenditure overshooting its budget by Rs. 638 crore.

The revenue came in from three sources. The sale of tickets generated Rs. 39.17 crore. While the contracted value of sponsorship was Rs. 375.05 crore, less than a third of that sum was realised, with just Rs. 114.15 crore coming in so far. Similarly, only Rs. 173.71 crore has been received for the sale of the international television rights, against the contracted value of Rs. 213.45 crore. That does not include the Rs. 23 crore withheld as tax deducted at source from the payments of Network Ten in Australia.

The OC has taken Rs. 2307.82 crore in loans from the government, well above the originally approved amount of Rs. 1813 crore. The extra amount was granted for overlays — temporary fittings and fixtures — and for timing and scoring equipment.

Mr. Gill admitted that “there were no earnings from advertisements as such.” In fact, it was Prasar Bharati that earned Rs. 58 crore from advertisements during its broadcast of the Games — also well below the originally projected figure of Rs. 200 crore. An initially lukewarm response from advertisers as well as a decision not to air advertisements during the closing ceremony due to complaints about the deferred broadcast of the opening ceremony all contributed to the low revenue figure.

The number of visitors to the Games also fell short of the goal. While the OC had estimated 1 lakh visitors and 8,000 participants, the actual numbers were lower. The number of foreign tourist arrivals at Delhi in the first two weeks of October —not all of whom were necessarily in the city for Games-related tourism — was 75,606. The total number of participants was 6.572. Mr. Gill blamed adverse media publicity for the drop.

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