"The BCCI tender committee has invited the two highest bidders - Zee Network and ESPN Star Sports - for discussions at Chennai on Saturday. The outcome of the meeting would then be placed before the marketing committee on Sunday for a final decision," highly placed Board sources said in Mumbai.
The two networks are fighting a bitter battle to get the rights which are expected to fetch the Board around 60 million dollar annually till 2007-08.
The Board had invited bids in July and received a spate of responses. Zee had emerged as the highest bidder with over $260 million while pledging a further Rs 95 crore exclusively for coverage of domestic cricket while ESPN Star Sports had bid $230 million.
"Money wouldn't be the sole issue when the rights are awarded. Another important issue that would be taken into consideration would be previous experience in cricket coverage, especially domestic coverage," the sources added.
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya is scheduled to attend both the meetings in Chennai. Others expected to be present at the tender committee meeting are BCCI finance committee chairman N Srinivasan, secretary S K Nair, treasurer Jyoti Bajpai and immediate previous treasurer Kishore Rungta.