Television

BCCI tender panel meeting inconclusive on India rights

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MUMBAI: The India telecast rights intrigue continues. In what has come as no surprise to many in the industry, the crucial meeting of the Tender Committee of the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI), which took place in Chennai this morning, failed to come to any conclusions as to which party --- Zee Telefilms or ESPN Star Sports --- was the rightful claimant of the most prized possession on Indian television today.

Cricket board president Jagmohan Dalmiya and other senior office bearers of the BCCI, including Jyothi Bajpayee, Kishore Rungta and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association president N Srinivasan are among the senior members in this committee. However, BCCI secretary SK Nair, who is also in this panel, is away in England attending a meeting of the ICC, agency reports have said.

What remains to be seen is whether the BCCI's Marketing Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow, at which the rights winner was earlier expected to be announced, throws up anything more conclusive. From this vantage, something definitive from the Indian cricket board, which is a divided house on the telecast rights issue, looks increasingly uncertain. This committee includes Dalmiya and former BCCI president AC Muthiah, among others.

While Zee Telefilms has offered $260 million, ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) has come up with an offer of $230 million to the BCCI for four years. SET Max, Prasar Bharati and Ten Sports have also put in their offers. But they were way behind the two main contenders.

The fight between Zee and ESS is for the live television and radio broadcast rights for international matches to be played in India for the next four years

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