Television

Sony bags global TV rights for 'Holland Cup'

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MUMBAI: The big India cricketing properties for 2004 are getting sewn up. If ESPN Star Sports has won television broadcast rights for the first big cricket tournament after the Indo-Pak series, next month's Asia Cup, Sony Entertainment Television is not going to be left behind.

Sony has won the global telecast rights for the still-to-be-titled tri-nation tournament featuring three of the biggest draws in cricket --- Australia, India and Pakistan. The "Holland Cup" will be played out at Amsterdam, The Netherlands, between 22 and 29 August. The format of this tourney is such that there will be only four matches, including the final.

Information available with indiantelevision.com indicates that the likely title sponsor for the event will be white goods major Videocon. All the matches will be played at 10:30 am local time which translates to 2 pm India time, the same timings that a Day-Night ODI in India would have.

And the acquisition costs? Industry sources estimate the rights cost to be about $ 3 million.

When contacted, MAX executive vice president and business head Rajat Jain, refused to be drawn into a comment on whether Sony had the rights.

Repeated attempts to contact SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta regarding the same proved unsuccessful.

For Sony, the Holland Cup provides the ideal curtain raiser to its big ticket event of 2004, the Champions Trophy, which is being hosted by England from 10-25 September. The Holland Cup would likely provide marketing and distribution build-up opportunities in much the same way the Champions Trophy in 2002 was the "lead-in" to the World Cup in March 2003.

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