HC allows opening tech bids for telecast rights

Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The Delhi High Court today allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to open technical bids for grant of telecast and broadcast rights in India for the next four years after Zee Telefilms said it had no objection to it.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice B A Khan and Justice M B Lokur, which allowed BCCI to open the technical bids to decide the eligibility of the bidders including Zee Telefilms, asked the cricket body not to disclose the outcome.

The BCCI would inform the outcome to the court on October 19, when the matter would come up for further hearing.

Senior counsel Soli J Sorabji and A M Singhvi requested the Bench on behalf of BCCI to allow opening of the technical bids, saying Indo-Sri Lanka cricket series was scheduled to begin on October 25 and there was not much time left to decide the issue.

Appearing for Zee Telefilms, senior Counsel Rajiv Nayar agreed to the suggestion but said the outcome should not be made public and instead informed to the court.

Zee Telefilms has moved the court seeking quashing of BCCI's 'invitation to tender' (ITT) for cricket telecast rights in India on the ground that the eligibility conditions were framed to oust Indian bidders.

The present set of eligibility criteria for ITT was framed by BCCI in such a manner so as to "exclude" the petitioner and/or other Indian television channels and favour ESPN Star Sports, Zee alleged.

However, BCCI maintained that it wanted only those having three-year experience as direct first original licensee (and not as an agent) from any event owner of telecasting live international cricket matches in each of the three years, 2002, 2003 and 2004 to bid for the telecast rights.

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