Television

Race on for the Sri Lankan cricket rights

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The race is on to bag the rights to telecast Sri Lankan cricket in India. The major players in the running are Sony Entertainment Television's Set Max channel, Zee Sports, ESPN-Star Sports and other production companies.

Set Max, which had acquired the telecast rights for all the cricket matches played in Sri Lanka in the previous season, had paid a sum of $7.75 million to the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. Channel bosses have been making a pitch to bag the rights over the past two-three weeks. Sony Entertainment's Anand Desai is believed to have made a pitch, as also ESPN-Star's Manu Sawhney. Sony apparently has the first right of refusal for the rights.

The Sri Lankan board is hoping to make an announcement soon. Zee Sports is in desperate need of good cricket product for its Zee Sports channel as is Sony for Set Max. If ESPN-Star bags the rights it will be in the drivers' seat in the Indian market as it will have wrapped up all the major telecast rights for cricket for cricket mad Indian audiences. Stay tuned.

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