Cricket saga: Sony out, DD in

NEW DELHI: Sony Entertainment TV India is out and Indian pubcaster Prasar Bharati is in. The cricket telecast drama continues to experience one twist after another.

The latest on the rights saga is that the Indian cricket board has preferred to go along with the national broadcaster, thereby ensuring removal of government interference, in place of Sony as had been announced two days back.


Confirming the latest developments to, Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma said, "Yes, we have struck a deal with the cricket board in principle late Saturday night only."

The deal envisages Doordarshan, the national broadcaster, getting exclusive terrestrial and satellite rights for the Australia, South Africa and Pakistan matches to be played in India.



Though the production of the matches would be done by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), DD would be paying the Board a flat amount of Rs. 30 million per day for the duration of a test match. This works out to

Rs. 150 million for a traditional five-day Test.

According to Sarma, the man who has been in the right places at the right moment, muttering all the right words, "Though the understanding with BCCI happened quite late on Saturday, but by Sunday evening we have managed

decent bookings for ads worth about Rs. 60 million."

However, Sarma said that Prasar Bharati would go ahead on Monday with its announced intentions of joining issues with others on cricket rights in the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing a case filed by Zee Telefilms against BCCI canceling an earlier tender process that saw Zee emerge as the highest bidder for Indian cricket with a quote of $ 308 million.

"Saturday's developments, notwithstanding, we would plead our case in Supreme Court on Monday," Sarma said. BCCI officials could not be contacted for comments.

On Friday, Sarma had gone public that the organization would move the apex court protesting against BCCI awarding Sony with the matches as Prasar Bharati was the third highest bidder with a quote of $ 150 million.

As per a BCCI plan last week, the live feeds would be produced by the Dubai-based Ten Sports network to be shown on a Sony channel.

As the cricket rights saga was unfolding and getting into a legal logjam with parties moving the court, BCCI had earlier too tried to come to an understanding with Prasar Bharati, but was rebuffed as the asking price was "high".

The BCCI-DD deal, however, is subject to any court directive that may come about in future.

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