Zee says no to re-bidding of telecast rights

Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:The legal battle between Zee Telefilms Ltd and ESPN-Star Sports on bagging the lucrative cricket telecast rights on Tuesday took a new turn with the former "firmly" deciding against the Bombay high court suggestion to go in for fresh bids even as the Central Government said only Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had the jurisdiction to decide the telecast rights.

Zee Telefilms filed an affidavit in high court communicating its decision and served copies of affidavits to the BCCI and ESPN-Star Sports.

The board of directors of Zee Telefilms, at their meeting on Monday, "firmly decided against re-bidding", a statement issued by the company said.

In view of Zee Telefilms' decision against re-bidding, the petition filed by ESPN-Star Sports, challenging BCCI's move to award four-year cricket telecast rights to Zee for US dollars 308 million, would come up for arguments before a division bench of the high court on September 16.

The court had asked Zee network to communicate its decision to BCCI and ESPN-Star Sports on September 14. If Zee Network agreed to go for fresh bids then it would be placed before the court on September 15 and decision will be taken regarding award of telecast rights. But if Zee decides against fresh bids then further arguments will take place on September 16, the judges had ruled.

ESPN-Star Sports contended that Zee Network was not eligible to hold the telecast rights as it did not have the required two years of experience in producing, broadcasting and telecasting live cricket matches as required by the tender floated by BCCI.

The BCCI, however, said that they had held both the broadcasters as equally eligible and suggested that both the parties be allowed to make fresh bids.

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