Bangladesh okays record television rights deal

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka:The Bangladesh government cleared a record 56 million-dollar television rights agreement with a Singapore-based company after a row over the deal led to the resignation of the country's cricket chief.

"The government approved the television deal with Nimbus Sports International on Tuesday and instantly we informed the company about the clearance," said Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) secretary Mahbub Anam.

"We will now sign the agreement within the next 24 hours."

Nimbus last week beat its nearest rival, Zee Telefilms, by over 23 million dollars to win the rights to broadcast international cricket matches played in Bangladesh until 2012.

BCB president Ali Asghar had resigned on Tuesday after the government failed to sign the deal within an agreed timeframe.

The main opposition Awami League party had demanded Asghar's resignation and scrutiny of the television deal, saying it had been done in a hasty and non-transparent manner.

The Bangladesh interim government, however, disputed Asghar's claims and said in a statement that he had been relieved of his post.

According to the Future Tours Program (FTP) drawn up by the International Cricket Council, Bangladesh are due to play 21-23 Test matches and 59-61 One-dayers over the next six years.

Bangladesh's next assignment is a five-match One-day series against Zimbabwe at home later this month.

Nimbus already holds the rights to broadcast Indian cricket matches up to 2010. It paid 612 million dollars to secure those rights.

The company has also launched a 24-hour cricket channel to broadcast India's international and domestic matches.


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