Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cricket Telecast Issues

Several changes in the last few days that need to be recorded here.

1. BCCI administration changed, as Sharad Pawar wins defeating Jagmohan Dalmiya camp's Ranbir Singh Mahendra. BCCI is embroiled in a lawsuit on cricket television rights.

2. Zee TV was awarded satellite telecast rights for the ongoing India-Sri Lanka Test series, after the Delhi High Court judges Justice M K Sharma and R C Chopra ordered the BCCI that a decision be made in an open bidding by 1st December. The first Test was to start on 2nd December. Accordingly, bids were invited till 1300 hrs on 1st December and the tender was decided by 1400 hrs. Zee outbid all the others.

However, the bid was only for satellite television rights in India and overseas rights. Prasar Bharati had already been promised terrestrial rights and BCCI agreed to abide by the same - on a revenue share basis.

TWI produces the series while Nimbus will handle the overseas sales of the feed (on a revenue share basis).

Dalmiya apparently is surprised by the fact that Zee won the bid. It is time Dalmiya stops wondering and gets on with his life.

3. The long term problem: My feeling is that the current BCCI administration will ask for withdrawal of all the cases, a fresh tender to be called for with lighter restrictions (thereby allowing Zee to bid), and then let the decision be made transparently. The bid value will come down considerably since the Indian Government has stipulated that the terrestrial feed be given to Doordarshan. Watch the next post.

We will await the developemtns.

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