Bangla board sets $ 50 million reserve price for cricket rights

MUMBAI: The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), which has issued a tender to sell marketing rights including those for television and the Internet for six years until 2012, has fixed a reserve price of $ 50 million for bids.

This is a massive mark-up from the $11.75 million ESPN Star Sports paid 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.

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

Among the rather tough clauses in the tender document the BCB has issued are:

* Only firms experienced in using similar rights and having an annual turnover of $15 million will be eligible to participate in the tender.

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

$ 2 million deposit to be submitted before bids opened.

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

* As the incumbent broadcaster, ESS will have the right to match any bid from a rival broadcaster if its bid is lower.

Bangladesh is expected to play around 40 tests and over 100 one-day internationals during this period.

The big question among more than one industry watcher is this - will any broadcaster bid even the floor price of $ 50 million let alone cross it?

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