Television

Nimbus bags Bangla cricket rights for $ 56 million

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MUMBAI: About the only consistent aspect of bidding for cricket rights is that no one seems to have a fix on just how high the numbers will go. Test minnows Bangladesh has sold to Nimbus Sport, the marketing rights for international cricket matches held in that country till 2012 for a whopping $ 56.88 million.

To put some perspective on the matter, $11.75 million is what ESPN Star Sports paid the Bangladesh cricket Board (BCB) last time round when it acquired the rights for a period of five years. Those rights expired in April last year.

The BCB's new tender invitation is for the period 1 November 2006 to 31 March 2012. Bangladesh is expected to play 21-23 Test matches and 59-61 internationals during this period.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com earlier, ESPN India MD RC Venkateish had said that his network was certainly interested in renewing the rights.

Nimbus' bid was over $ 23 million higher than next in line Zee Telefilms' tender, newswire Press Trust of India quoted Bangladesh Cricket Board general secretary Mahbub Anam as saying on Friday.
"We will sign a contract with Nimbus within the next two weeks. All we need now is the government's seal of approval," Anam said.

Two key clauses in the tender document issued by the BCB were:

* Production the responsibility of the bidder though there are allowable expenses against the winning bid (subject to the board agreeing) including production costs.

* All revenues will be shared between BCCB and the successful bidder in a ratio of 80:20 in favour of BCCB.

Nimbus' telecast of Bangladesh cricket begins later this month with a five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe. After that, Bangladesh plays Bermuda and Canada in early 2007 (two ODIs each).

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