Television

No bids decision till 8 September: BCCI

NEWDELHI: The Indian cricket board today assured the Delhi high court that it would not decide on bids for grant of cricket telecast and broadcast rights in India for the next four years till September 8, when the hearing on Zee Telefilm's petition, challenging the eligibility conditions, would resume.

 
 
 

The assurance was given to a division bench of acting Chief Justice B A Khan and Justice M B Lokur on behalf of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) by senior counsel Aryam Sundaram, who said the marketing committee of the cricket body was yet to meet.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatagi, representing Zee, had sought an interim order to restrain the BCCI from deciding the bids till the next date as it would prejudice the interest of the petitioner, which has demanded quashing of BCCI's 'invitation to tender' (ITT) for cricket telecast rights in India on the ground that the eligibility conditions were framed to oust Indian bidders, according to Press Trust of India (PTI).

 
 
 
In fact, the court had made it to BCCI that either it should undertake not to decide the bids till the next date or an order would be passed to restrain it from doing so as in the event of the cricket body deciding the bids, the writ petition would become infructuous.

However, the court did not pass any formal order. Rohatagi alleged that the present set of eligibility criteria for ITT was

framed by BCCI in such a manner so as to try to "exclude" the petitioner and/or other Indian television channels and favour ESPN Star Sports, which had gone to the court after an earlier round of bidding last year.

Sundaram said BCCI wanted only those having three-year experience as direct first original licensee (and not as an agent) from any event owner of telecasting live international cricket matches in each of the three years -- 2002, 2003 and 2004 to bid for the telecast rights, states the PTI report.

The next date of hearing is 8 September.

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