Taj TV bags Pakistan cricket rights

MUMBAI: It was always on the cards but now it's official. Taj Television (parent company of Ten Sports) has secured the telecast rights for all cricket to be played in Pakistan for the next five years.

The deal signed between the Pakistan Cricket board (PCB) and Taj TV gives the broadcaster promoted by Sharjah's Abdurrahman Bukhatir the rights to all international matches hosted by the PCB for five years from April 2003 till the end of 2008 for a reported $42.6 million. 

Under its current deal with TWI, the PCB receives about $11 million, and TWI bid offered a minimum of $30 million to retain the rights. Taj TV won in a bidding process that attracted interest from six groups.

With the sewing up of this deal, Taj now has the telecast rights for Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sharjah and Morocco. 

The telecast begins with (in theory) India's scheduled tour of Pakistan in April. Of course, there's next to no chance of that happening. With India's non-participation a foregone conclusion, the PCB has reportedly invited both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe to tour Pakistan.

The next telecast after that will be when Bangladesh tours Pakistan in September followed by South Africa in October.

Ten Sports broadcasts in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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