India cricket: DD to get live feed for ODIs, Test highlights

MUMBAI: The battle for telecast rights to Indian cricket appears to have narrowed down to ESPN Star Sports versus Zee Telefilms, but one surety is already in place. Whoever ultimately gets the coveted property, national broadcaster Doordarshan will be in on the party.



ESPN Software India MD RC Venkateish confirmed as much to, stating that as per the agreement in place with DD regarding the India rights, ESS has committed to provide the terrestrial broadcaster with the live feed of all One Day Internationals while retaining exclusive live telecast rights over the Test matches.

As regards the Tests, DD will be provided a daily highlights package, Venkateish said. For the ODIs, the revenue share would be on a 25:75 ratio in favour of ESS.

Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma said as much in comments made to the Press Trust of India: "Both Zee and ESS signed the agreement with us just before they submitted bids for the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) tender."

The BCCI had called for bids to the telecast rights of approximately 130 days of cricket between October 2005 to September 2009. The bids, which closed on 26 August, are expected to be opened any time this week.



The BCCI had set a floor price of $2.14 million per day of cricket, totaling to a minimum of $278.2 million for 130 days.

According to industry estimates, Zee has bid $ 350 million, ESS $325 million, Sony in the region of $250 million and Prasar Bharati $225 million. Channel executives that indiantelevision has subsequently spoken to have, however, disputed these numbers so a final confirmation would have to wait for the opening of the bids.

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