DD to telecast 5 matches from Champions Trophy

NEW DELHI: It's small comfort but some comfort for Sony Entertainment TV India. Talk in the trade that Nimbus Communications, which is doing the marketing of the ICC Champions Trophy cricket matches being telecast on DD, has opened talks with Prasar Bharati to increase the number of matches to be telecast on national broadcaster Doordarshan from the present five to eight or nine is not happening.

DD, as announced, will be telecasting five matches that include two pool matches featuring India, two semi finals and the final. The two India matches airing on DD will be telecast on 14 and 22 September.

A Nimbus source earlier said: "Prasar Bharati is talking to us to see if DD can telecast more than five matches even now. But both the parties did not want to take a chance on marketing which was to have been done at short notice and thought it best to stick to five matches which would definitely attract advertising."

Discussions between Prasar Bharati and Nimbus apart, such a scenario would have further eroded the Sony's negotiating capacity on both the advertising and distribution front.

Meanwhile, a sizeable number of cable viewers in Delhi and surrounding areas had to do without the opening match of the Champions Trophy being telecast live on SET MAX as multi-system operator Hathaway-Win's feed for Sony channels has been cut off because of an on-going payment controversy. Hathway-Win services about 40 per cent of the Delhi and neighbourhood's cable homes.

For Prasar Bharati, it is not only Doordarshan that will be providing live coverage of the event. All-India Radio (AIR) will broadcast live commentary of nine important matches.

The matches that will be broadcast live on the AIR Network are:
1. The opening match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan (Day / Night) on 12 September.
2. South Africa vs The West Indies (Day match) on 13 September.
3. India vs Zimbabwe (Day/Night) on 14 September.
4. Australia vs. New Zealand (Day match) on 15 September.
5. England vs. Zimbabwe (Day / Night) on 18 September.
6. India vs. England (Day /Night) on 22 September.
7. First Semi-Final (Day / Night) on 25 September.
8. Second Semi-Final (Day/Night) on 27 September.
9. Final (Day / Night) on 29 September.

The running commentary of the day matches begins at 9:20 am while that of day /night encounters at 1:50 pm. The Delhi Station of All India Radio will broadcast special radio reports in addition to the live coverage. The 12 participating teams have been divided into four pools of three teams each.

Pool 1: Australia, New Zealand, Bangla Desh.

Pool 2: India, Zimbabwe, England.

Pool 3: South Africa, West Indies, Kenya

Pool 4: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Holland.

The toppers from each pool will clash in the semi-finals for a berth in the final. With the top players confirming their participation, the ICC Champions Trophy, is expected to deliver some engrossing cricket over the next fortnight.

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