Television

Sony snares International cricket rights for Indo-Pak series

MUMBAI: In a development late last evening, Sony Entertainment Television wrested the international cricket telecast rights (for all countries with the exception of the Indian Subcontinent) for the Indo-Pak series.

Announcing this at a gala party hosted by cricket and movies channel MAX at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt, Sony Entertainment boss Kunal Dasgupta looked rather battle weary but confident and dapper in his suit.

Sony Entertainment bested the bid of Nimbus Sports by agreeing to pay up $11.5 million to the BCCI. Nimbus' bid, as per a letter dated 4 march and addressed to BCCI president RS Mahendra, was $11.15 million net.

Among ther others that made pitches in a hotly-contested race for the rights were broadband platform Willow TV with an $11.05 million offer and Ten Sports at $ 10.5 million.

Earlier Prasar Bharati had been allotted the domestic telecast rights while TWI had pocketed the production rights for the much touted series. At that stage, Nimbus boss Harish Thawani had protested against the BCCI decision saying his bid of $1.29 million was lower than TWI's offer of $1.5 million to do the production. Adding Grist to the controversy surrounding the telecast issue was Punjab Cricket Association president IS Bindra who publicly supported Thawani's contention in the matter.

 

 

Even today, Thawani voiced his protest. Speaking to indiantelevision.com around midnight, Thawani stated that Sony's orignal offer had been $10.8 million, which was later upped to $11.5 million. Nimbus had subsequently offered to pay $12.5 million for the rights, Thawani said

Respondng to Thawani's charge on the sidelines of the MAX party, Dasgupta pointed out that when the bids were opened at 5 pm, Sony's was the highest. "There is no cause for any dispute in this matter," he firmly told indiantelevision.com.

It may be recalled that Sony had made earlier a composite bid of $40 million. Sony's offer to BCCI included air time sales and telecast rights for India and international territories. For just the Indian and international satellite telecast rights, Sony's offer was $26 million. As a third option, Sony's initial bid for just international rights was $10 million.

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