AIR bags radio rights for $ 40,000

NEW DELHI: All India Radio (AIR) has secured the rights for broadcasting the running commentary on the nine matches to be played during the India-Pakistan cricket series in March-April for a reported $40,000.

Dalmiya told IANS in a telephonic interview from Kolkata that he would not be able to say anything with certainty until an Indian delegation now in Pakistan returned after studying the security situation there.

"A deal to allow AIR to broadcast running commentary of the India-Pakistan series has been finalised with Prasar Bharati (which looks after Doordarshan and AIR)," Peter Hutton, head of programming of the Dubai-based Ten Sports told IANS soon after the deal was finalised.

The comment made by Hutton confirms what had been reported on yesterday - that only the radio broadcast rights, which Ten has also acquired, would be up for discussion.

Ten Sports has both the radio and TV rights for the series.

According to Hutton, Doordarshan didn't even figure in the discussions he held here with Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma.

"I didn't even talk about it," said Hutton, who had flown in from Mumbai for the meeting.

Prasar Bharati sources said they had not given up hope of obtaining the terrestrial rights.

India is scheduled to play three Tests and five one-day internationals besides a three-day warm-up match on their first full-fledged tour of Pakistan in over 14 years starting in the second week of March.

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