DD to telecast all India matches till 2007

Published: Thursday, August 12, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Doordarshan (DD) will be telecasting all India-centric cricket matches, including the two championship trophies and World Cup, till 2007 with the Prasar Bharati reaching agreement with the International Cricket Council (ICC) satellite rights holder Sony.

Also, the Government will soon be bringing a legislation to ensure that Prasar Bharati, that also includes All-India Radio (AIR), gets access to air all India-centric matches on a "non-competitive basis."

"This means that whichever company gets right for a particular cricket tournament featuring India, it will be obligatory for it to share the rights with Prasar Bharati," its chief executive officer (CEO) K S Sarma, and additional secretary in the Information and Broadcasting ministry, Vijay Singh, said in New Delhi after a meeting with Prasar Bharati board.

Sarma said Prasar Bharati would also submit its bid for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rights (for matches played in India) in a day or two. Also, he said the public broadcaster was open to submit a joint bid, including with ESPN-Star Sports.

Sarma said the public broadcaster would not pay anything for showing the matches but would rather have a revenue share arrangement wherein it would get 20 per cent while the rights holder 80 per cent.

He said Prasar Bharati will offer a minimum guarantee of Rs 75 lakh for a One-dayer while the original rights holder will give the bank guarantee.

He said India's matches in the upcoming Holland series, involving India, Pakistan and Australia, as well as the Champions Trophy slated for September would be shown on DD.

On the preparations made for the BCCI bid, which closes this week, he said an empowered committee had been formed which comprises officials from the ministry as well as Prasar Bharati.

"We have been given the power to present by day after, a professionally-assessed and competitive bid. Also, we will request the Government to put in place a regulation at the earliest that DD and AIR get access to these rights on a non-competitive basis," he added.

Both Sarma and Singh denied any link between the proposed legislation and the bid the Prasar Bharati would make for the BCCI rights.

"Legislation should not be read along with the bid," Singh said, adding plans to introduce a regulation of such type was on the anvil for quite some time.

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