HC tells Zee, ESPN-Star to submit fresh bids

Published: Sunday, September 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:The Mumbai High Court on Thursday suggested that ESPN-Star Sports and Zee Television network to submit fresh bids to the Registrar General of the High Court and said that the highest bidder would bag the telecast rights of national and international cricket matches to be played in India between October 2004 and September 2008.

The suggestion came from a bench of Chief Justice DS Bhandari and Justice DY Chandrachud who were hearing a petition filed by ESPN-Star Sports challenging the decision of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to award telecast rights to Zee TV Network.

However, Zee's counsel told the court that he would respond to its suggestion in the post-lunch hearing proceedings. The judges then adjourned the matter till 2.45 pm.

Earlier, the High Court had asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to produce its file on awarding of telecast rights to Zee Network for the period October 2004 to September 2008.

The petition said that ESPN-Star was not given an opportunity to improve its bid after BCCI had negotiated the price with Zee.

ESPN-Star TV Network had challenged BCCI's decision to award rights to Zee for which a tender was floated earlier.

The tender pertained to telecast rights of national and international cricket matches played in the country during the four-year period.

The petition contended that Zee was not eligible, as it did not satisfy tender conditions of eligibility.

It said that Zee did not possess the required two years experience of telecasting cricket matches of international level and also claimed that awarding tender rights to Zee was a violation of principle of natural justice.

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