BCCI defends cancellation of TV contract

Published: Saturday, February 19, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai:The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told the Madras High Court that it had no option but to cancel proceedings that were underway for awarding telecast rights for international matches as it had its back to the wall.

Arguing on behalf of the BCCI, on a petition filed by Zee Telefilms India Pvt Ltd challenging the arbitrary cancellation of tender proceedings, senior advocate K K Venugopal contended in the court of Justice K P Sivasubramanian that the Board was in a tight spot with Cricket Australia (CA) threatening to call off the series in October last year if the issue of telecasting rights was not resolved expeditiously.

He claimed that had Australia abandoned the series, ICC would have blacklisted the BCCI.

Besides, arguments on a petition filed by ESPN-Star Sports in Mumbai High Court against the award of contract to Zee had not even commenced, while the question of sponsorship and distribution of revenue slots was yet to be resolved, he said and claimed that the decision was taken keeping in mind the overall interest of cricket.

Stating that it was not a case of a concluded contract being broken, Venugopal pointed out that Zee had time and again mentioned that it was an inclusive contract.

Charging Zee for moving the court with contrary views, he asked how a petitioner could seek a mandamus in the case of an 'unconcluded' contract.

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