Lanka Tests telecast: DD ire at BCCI

NEW DELHI: It seems that the Indian cricket board remains unfazed by a recently-announced law that pubcaster's should get all sports of national importance --- primarily cricket--- irrespective of the fact who holds the telecast rights.


Expressing his irritation at the Board of Control for India in India (BCCI)'s attitude, Prasar Bharati CEO, KS Sarma, told that he'd write to the cricket authorities again on Test matches against Sri Lanka beginning, January 2006.

Pointing out that BCCI hasn't reverted to a request by Prasar Bharati, which manages Doordarshan, to clarify its stand on the Test matches, Sarma said, "We would write to the BCCI again during the first ODI against South Africa to be played at Hyderabad soon. We want some clarity on the Tests as we have to make some arrangements for their telecast."

According to Sarma, every day's delay by BCCI on formally awarding telecast rights of the three Test matches against Sri Lanka is reducing the pubcaster's scope for marketing cricket "more effectively" to advertisers and sponsors.

Though DD has the telecast rights for the one-day matches against Sri Lanka (already concluded) and the forthcoming series against South Africa, a pending court case on the telecast issue has made BCCI watchful against awarding rights to anybody arbitrarily, a senior Board official said.

The official was evasive when asked whether BCCI is now bound by a new guideline relating to sports telecast in the country as part of a downlinking law.Sarma pointed out that DD hopes to mop up over Rs 1.5 billion in advertising revenue from the ODI series against Lanka and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Sarma added that no decision has been taken on the telecast of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia next year. "We haven't heard anything from the Games' organizers yet," he added.

DD had earlier given up its claims on having omnibus rights --- satellite, terrestrial and DTH --- for the Commonwealth Games 2006 after protracted negotiation with organizers, seeking only terrestrial rights.

But ,with the enactment of downlink laws, which stipulates sports feeds of national importance to be shared with the pubcaster on a mandatory basis, things might change.

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