Monday, December 12, 2005

New telecast bid from BCCI

The new board of BCCI has cancelled all previous television rights tenders and is expected to release a fresh tender today. The decision will be made within a week - by next Monday, BCCI's Vice President Lalit Modi announced in an interview in NDTV.

Lalit Modi seemed to indicate that in the new tender process they will make more money than the previous bid by Zee Sports, which was challenged by ESPN in court, bid was cancelled by Dalmiya controlled board, Zee went to court and so on.

I doubt if BCCI will make more money this time around. Whoever wins the bid will have to deal with sharing the terrestrial feed with Doordarshan (which itself is being challenged by Ten Sports in Mumbai High Court). This would result in drastic reduction in subscription revenue and advertising revenue for the satellite broadcaster.

I feel that Zee has a lot to gain - much more than ESPN Star - by winning this bid. Therefore, chances are that they may bid more than what they did in the past. The bid conditions will be simple enough to allow for everyone including Zee, TWI and Nimbus as well.

I would prefer Zee if they are ready to generate local language feeds - in Tamil, Bengali, and then eventually Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Telugu, Kannada etc. They are already generating Tamil and Bengali feeds for the ongoing India-Sri Lanka Test series.

Let us wait and watch.

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