Four broadcasters in running for telecast rights

Published: Friday, August 26, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Four broadcasters, ESPN Star Sports, Sony, Zee and government-owned Doordarshan, have bid for the cricket telecast rights for the next four years from BCCI, it was announced by a board official here today.

BCCI's (Board of Control for Cricket in India) Executive-Secretary-in-charge, Prof Ratnakar Shetty, said that while five broadcasters, the other being Ten Sports, had collected the bid forms from the board, only four complied with the process of giving bank guarantee of US dollars three million by yesterday evening's deadline.

The deadline for submitting the bids ended at 2 pm today, he said.

"Now it is upto the president (Ranbir Singh Mahendra) to call a meeting of the board's marketing committee to take the process forward," said Shetty adding that a date for the meeting was yet to be fixed.

The tender notice, inviting bids for the telecast rights till 2008-09 season, was issued by BCCI through a newspaper advertisement on August 11, board sources said.

Last year the process of inviting bids for telecast rights ran into trouble with the matter ending up in the courts following a dispute between Zee and ESPN. BCCI then gave the rights to Prasar Bharti's Doordarshan.

The telecast rights, from October one, 2005 to September 30, 2009, includes rights for domestic cricket conducted by the BCCI, as per the conditions of the tender notice issued by BCCI earlier this month.

"Only those entities, that own and control 24-hour television programming services and have own existing channel as well as first hand experience of having successfully shown in its own channel live' international cricket matches (Tests/One Day Internationals) as original First Licensee of the event owner during each of the last three years (2002, 2003 and 2004) prior to the notification of ITT (Invitation to Tender), shall be eligible to submit offers," BCCI had said in its notification.

"Mere purchase of ITT by any entity which does not qualify, would not provide any right to either submit its tender or consideration thereof," BCCI sources said.

The BCCI also added a rider at the bottom saying it reserves the right to cancel the entire bidding process at any stage.

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