Zee wins Lanka series satellite rights for Rs 195 million

MUMBAI: The change of guard at the top of the Board of Cricket Control in Indian (BCCI) has had its immediate fallout with Zee Telefilms bagging the satellite rights for the upcoming three Test series with Sri Lanka, which kicks off in Chennai tomorrow. According to sources close to the developments, Zee paid Rs 195 million for the telecast rights.

The signing of the deal between the BCCI and Zee follows a directive from the Delhi High Court today instructing the cricket board to invite bids for awarding the telecast rights and take a decision by today itself.

It is pertinent to note here that according to news wire Press Trust of India, Prasar Bharati counsel Rajiv Sharma pointed out to the Court that the telecast rights of the three-Test series had already been granted to the pubcaster on 28 November.

PTI reported that the Bench asked him to approach BCCI and expressed the hope that the Board would honour the earlier commitment.

What this indicates is that while the terrestrial rights will rest with Parsar Bharati, the satellite rights have gone to Zee.

Zee Sports business head Himanshu Mody said, We are delighted to acquire the cable and satellite rights for the 3 Test match series between India and Sri Lanka. In an open and transparent meeting with the BCCI, in which all bidders were present, we managed to secure the rights for the series. Acquiring the rights is an assertion of our commitment to provide exciting cricket to viewers in India.

Mody further added, We are sure to repeat the success achieved in Standard Chartered Afro Asia Cup and Kingfisher Challenger Series through world-class production, marketing and distribution strength of Zee Sports. We will continue to build on that equity and provide even greater enjoyment to the fans of the game, in the tournament to be played.

The telecast will include preview and review shows, special programming and advertising innovations, world-class graphics, special interviews and match reports. Cricket Café the innovative programming initiative from Zee Sports will present the pre and post analysis of the match. In addition we are working on special initiatives to substantially boost the value we provide to our viewers and advertisers. SportsCafe, Zee Sports daily news program will present the daily highlights and analysis of the best moments of the matches.

The is hardly likley to be the last word on this contentious matter and one would expect more action in the courts around this issue, so stay tuned...

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