New actors in telecast drama; DD and Sony

Published: Friday, October 1, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The issue of telecast rights for the upcoming India-Australia Test cricket series turned more complex on Friday with the Prasar Bharati saying it was an "aggrieved party" as it was a higher bidder than Sony TV in the original tender process.

"We are an aggrieved party. We felt that it will be given to Prasar Bharati as we are a higher bidder than Sony," Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma told reporters after the launch of the National Commodity Exchange ticker service on Doordarshan News.

Sarma's comments came close on the heels of Zee TV filing an application before the Supreme Court seeking telecast rights for the series and a direction to BCCI not to give television coverage rights to Sony TV and Ten Sports.

Sarma replied in the affirmative when asked whether his statement meant that Prasar Bharati was putting its hat in the ring for the telecast rights.

"Prasar Bharati would like to have exclusive rights for four years," he said.To a query whether Prasar Bharati would be approaching BCCI in view of granting the telecast rights to Sony TV, Sarma said, "I cannot ask BCCI. I will ask the appropriate authority".

He also said that he learnt from Kunal Dasgupta of Sony TV that they have got the rights. Though the agreement between BCCI and Sony was still being signed, Sarma said Sony have assured to send its copy on Friday itself.

"Until we see the agreement, we will not be able to say anything," he said adding that Empowered Committee of Prasar Bharati would be meeting after the agreement was received by the public broadcaster.

He said in principle, Sony was ready to give terrestrial rights to Prasar Bharati.

However, secretary of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Navin Chawla, who launched the National Commodity Exchange ticker service, steered clear of any questions on the telecast rights row.

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