Thursday, October 25, 2007

ICL & IPL. Can BCCI blacklist Zee/Ten from bidding?

There is a report in The Economic Times that says BCCI is likely to blacklist Zee Group and Ten Sports from bidding for its cricket telecast rights.

Naturally BCCI is pissed off at Zee Group for starting Indian Cricket League - ICL. However, can that be grounds enough to blacklist Zee from bidding for rights? BCCI claims this has to do with Zee pulling out of overseas crickets telecast rights. Zee claims it has initiated arbitration proceedings.

Ten Sports is only partly owned (majority stake though) by Zee. Can BCCI also blacklist Ten Sports?

My view is that BCCI's blacklisting will not be sustainable in the court of law. Zee is certain to contest such blacklisting, if it happens.

However if the rights in question relate to IPL, BCCI may have a point whereby it can claim that Zee may not promote IPL properly, since it also owns ICL - supposing Zee wins the bid to telecast IPL. Courts may agree to this point. The same however cannot be said if the rights are for One-day internationals or Tests.

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