Television

Cricket rights: Worried ICC writes to Manmohan

NEW DELHI: Even as the Indian cricket board continues to make a mess of cricket in general in India and the telecast rights, in particular, the game’s international apex body has sought Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s help in resolving the impasse.

According to authoritative cricket-related website, cricinfo.com, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed to its staff that it had written to Singh ahead of Thursday's cabinet meeting concerning moves to give pubcaster Doordarshan preferential treatment in securing the broadcast rights to telecast international cricket in India.

The Indian Cabinet is scheduled to discuss later in the day recommendations of a group of ministers on making it mandatory for private broadcasters to share sports content with DD on a revenue sharing basis. What’s worrying cricket managers globally as well as private broadcasters is that the proposed legislation is likely to be made effective retrospectively.

This means that telecast contracts that have been concluded before the proposed piece of legislation comes into force would also be guided by the new law, which seeks to give DD an unfair advantage.

The TV rights saga has bedeviled Indian cricket since the time Australia were preparing to come over for their victorious jaunt in October-November 2004. Doordarshan, the state broadcaster, has been in the box-seat since, with rights being dispensed on a series-by-series basis, cricinfo.com observed.

Cricinfo.com is now part of the Wisden group and incorporates Wisden Online. Cricinfo was launched by a group of enthusiasts in 1993 and soon mushroomed into the world's largest single-sport site on the worldwide web. Wisden Online was launched in 2001 and quickly established a reputation for well-informed, well-written and often witty comment on the web in the Wisden tradition.

The latest incarnation of the Cricinfo site, relaunched in late 2003, combines the breadth of CricInfo - live scores from almost every cricket match of any consequence, and news from all corners of the globe - with the depth of the Wisden archive, and trenchant comment.

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