ESPN-Star says BCCI violated its own rules

Published: Sunday, September 5, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Terming the award of cricket telecast rights to rivals Zee Network as a denial of natural justice, a top official of ESPN-Star Sports said on Sunday that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had violated the rules of the bidding process set by themselves.

"I am disappointed to learn that Zee had been even offered the cricket rights and that the BCCI had changed the entire process of bidding in violation of rules set by BCCI themselves," ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) managing director Rik Dovey said in a statement in New Delhi.

Dovey said that the tender committee of the BCCI had "confirmed they were very impressed by ESPN-Star Sports' credentials" after the first meeting on Saturday.

He said ESPN-Star Sports were asked to attend another meeting on Sunday where, "They were informed that the BCCI tender committee had changed their position".

"We were informed that the BCCI had just given Zee the opportunity to increase their bid and that providing Zee met certain conditions, not all of which were disclosed to ESPN-Star Sports, Zee would be awarded the rights later this week," Dovey said.

"ESPN-Star Sports were not given any opportunity for discussion, further clarification or to alter out bid. In the few minutes we had with the committee today (Sunday), we stressed that we continue to be the highest legitimate eligible bidder.

"We feel that today's proceedings clearly are a denial of justice and a violation by the BCCI of its tendering process," he said.

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