Television

BCCI calls for tenders for 'neutral venue' media rights

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MUMBAI: And so the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) continues along its merry road of extracting "maximum value" for its properties.

The latest money-mopping plan the BCCI has pulled out of its cupboard, which will only add to an already seriously overloaded cricket itinerary, are for matches played by India at neutral venues (non-ICC member countries) over the next five years. The media rights for this latest piece of the India cricket pie will be inaugurated with the two-match Indo-Pakistan limited over series that will be held in Abu Dhabi next month.

According to a media release issued by the cricket board today, the last date for submission of tenders for global media rights for India matches at these neutral venues would be 5 April, at noon at Nirlon House in Mumbai. The tenders would be scrutinised the same day.

The financial bids would be opened in Delhi the following day between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Oberoi Hotel, the release adds.

"The global media rights tender is intended to streamline the process of match telecasting wherever the Indian team is playing. With the number and quality of matches growing, this streamlining becomes increasingly important," said BCCI vice-president and chairman of its marketing sub-committee Lalit Modi.

The minimum bid varies with the region/ country being bid for. However bidders have the option to bid for rights in more than one country/ region.

Some countries tentatively included in the list of venues are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Holland, Toronto, New York and Tristate Area, Houston, Chicago, Palo Alto and bay area, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

The Indo-Pak Friendship Series to be played at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Stadium on 18 and 19 April is being organised as a fundraiser for the October 2005 earthquake victims in Pakistan and India. These matches are recognised by the ICC and will be counted as official one-day internationals (ODI).

It was yesterday that the board invited tenders for the stadium ground rights that include all in-stadium branding and on air promotions. The eligibility criteria that the board laid down for this was that interested companies and agencies would need to have a net worth of $5 million. The minimum bid for the ground rights tender package is $3 million.

"The ground rights sponsorship entails an exclusive sponsorship package, offering logos on all tickets, entry gates, ground logos, stumps etc.," Modi was quoted as saying yesterday.
Sealed bid entries will be accepted at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai till 4:30 p.m. 31 March. The bids will be opened at 5 p.m. the same day.

"This is a unique opportunity for brands to not only reach out to the Indian communities overseas but also promote their brand in a unique manner where, for the first time, all rights are being offered to a single company," Modiwas quoted in media reports as saying.

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