Telecast rights to make BCCI wealthier

Published: Friday, August 20, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:With India already established as the biggest market for cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) expects a jump of around 400 per cent in income from the telecasting rights for the international matches to be playedover next three years.

"Yes, we expect substantial jump over the existing cricket telecasting rights," the president of the BCCI, Jagmohan Dalmiya said in Kolkata on Sunday.

Dalmiya, who was speaking just before leaving for Mumbai to attend a BCCI finance committee meeting in this regard said that the market for cricket telecast has rapidly expanded in recent times and it would be reflected in the latest round of bidding over the telecast rights.

The BCCI, had on Saturday invited bids from broadcasters forlive telecasting rights and radio broadcasting rights for international cricket matches to be played in India from September 2004 to August 2007.

The existing cricket telecast rights deal signed with Prasar Bharati ends next month.

When asked whether the Board expect at least 300-400 per cent jump in the value of cricket telecasting rights Dalmiya said, "yes we expect that. This time the figure should be anywhere near Rs 1000 crore."

The BCCI chief, who is the brain behind pulling out cricket telecast rights at home from the exclusive domain of Doordarshan and make it an market determined revenue earning area for the Board also said, "we have rapidly expanded the market over the years and cricket is going to be the biggestbeneficiary."

Dalmiya's confidence in racking up big bucks this time emanates from the fact that India has turn out to be the biggest market for cricket in recent times with national and multinational companies ready to pump in millions to use cricket to promote their products.

This has also lead to a fierce competition among national and international TV channels to bag the telecasting rights.

The latest round of bidding which would end on August 14 includes all international cricket matches both Test and One-dayers to be played in India as part of the regular bi-lateral series as determined by International Cricket Council (ICC), as well as domestic matches from September 2004 to Aug 2007.

This, however, will not include international and domestic matches played under special events like the Platinum jubilee matches the Board is planning later this year.

After opening of the tenders, the matter will be discussed at the BCCI working committee meeting to be held in Kolkata on August 16.

Dalmiya, whose three-year term as president of BCCI ends next month looked determined to clinch the best deal.

He, however, skirted the issue of terrestrial rights for Doordarshan if the state owned channel failed to get the telecast fights in the bidding process saying "it is too premature to comment on this".

The controversy over terrestrial rights of Doordarshan had come to the fore before the historic Indian tour of Pakistan early this year, when a last minute arrangement had to be made with the Dubai-based Ten Sports channel which was exclusive telecast rights holder of the series.

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