Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 22-08-2011

Revenue from the forthcoming football friendly between Argentina and Venezuela in Kolkata is on course to become the most profitable 90 minutes in sport in India’s history.

According to the Economic Times, broadcast rights are already hitting the US$1 million mark for the match, to be played on 2 September, which will be broadcast live in 150 countries worldwide,. Demand is so high that the presence of the amazing talent of Lionel Messi in the Argentine ranks is encouraging football fever within a nation most associated with its intense love of cricket.

Celebrity Management Group (CMG) – which is organising the event alongside the Indian Football Association and All India Football Federation - has now sold the TV rights to ESPN for South Asia; to Eurodata for Africa and the rest of Asia; and Kentaro of Switzerland has bought the rights for broadcast in Europe, and North and South America.

In total, organisers expect to make $4.5 million (INR 20 crore) from broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals and ticket sales. Eighty thousand people are expected to attend the match, with three quarters of tickets already sold.

"The game has generated unprecedented interest across India. We expect to generate at least rupees 20 crore revenue as compared to some rupees 10 crore which a one-day cricket match generates," Bhaswar Goswami, executive director, CMG told the Economic Times.

Subrata Dutta, vice president, AIFF, added: "This match will herald the era of international soccer in India and will inspire more such games in the country.”

Other big name players including Carlos Tevez, Angelo Di Maria and Xavier Mascherano are expected to line up alongside Lionel Messi for Argentina.