SAB TV moves Bombay HC over telecast rights

Published: Thursday, September 16, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:In a fresh development in the legal battle over telecast rights of cricket matches, SAB TV on Thursday moved the Bombay High Court urging for intervention in the matter.

SAB TV, a 24-hour entertainment channel, filed an intervention application saying that ESPN-Star Sports had failed to satisfy the consortium criteria as mentioned in the tender bids called by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for telecast rights of cricket matches to be played between October 2004 and September 2008.

SAB TV counsel Ram Jethmalani argued that Espn-Star Sports should have protested against the bid process at the time of opening of bids itself after realising that Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) was just tabulating the figures mentioned in the bids and was not looking into the eligibility of the parties.

He also mentioned that ESPN-Star Sports should show whether they are themselves qualified and only then question of the eligibility of Zee Telefilms Ltd.

Jethmalani pointed out that ESPN-Star Sports were foreigners and did not have to pay taxes in India and their venture was totally commercial.

ESPN-Star Sports counsel Iqbal Chhagla argued that BCCI had found his client "unqualified" as they did not "own the in-house production facilities as required under condition 3.2 of the tender floated byBCCI".

He said that BCCI in its affidavit filed before the court had found both ESPN-Star Sports and Zee telefilms Ltd unqualified in terms of owning a production facility.

Chhagla, however, told court that ESPN-Star Sports hires on lease such equipment and it was virtually impossible to own them as they need to be transported across the world.

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