HC asks BCCI to be firm on telecast rights

Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to make a firm commitment that it would not award contract for telecast rights of four-year cricket matches to any third party other than Zee Telefilms Ltd and Espn-Star Sports Ltd until the legal dispute between the two parties on the issue was decided.

Chief Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud adjourned the matter for hearing in the post-lunch session to enable the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to make a statement in this regard.

Both Espn-Star Sports and Zee Telefilms urged the court to ask BCCI to give a firm commitment of not giving the contract to any third party unless their legal dispute on bagging four year telecast rights of cricket matches was settled.

Their counsel pointed out reports in a section of the media where in BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya had stated that in case the legal dispute between Espn-Star Sports and Zee Telefilms dragged on, BCCI may consider giving the contract to Prasar Bharati.

The judges said they would hear the arguments of both sides on September 21 on a petition filed by Espn-Star Sports challenging BCCI's decision to award the $308 million contract to Zee Telefilms Ltd for telecast rights of cricket matches to be played between October 2004 and September 2008.

Zee Telefilms Ltd on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the High Court saying that its board of directors were not agreeable to a suggestion put by the division bench for re-bidding.

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