Prasar Bharati calls for bids to hawk airtime for BCCI events telecasts

 MUMBAI: The Prasar Bharati has thrown open the air time sales of all BCCI events conducted by the latter in India to private parties. The period for which media sales partners are being sought is up to 30 September 2004.

The Prasar Bharati had in 1999 bagged the BCCI telecast rights for five years coughing up close to Rs 2,270 million. At that time Prasar Bharati had pocketed the rights to telecast 135 days of international cricket and 21 days a year of major domestic cricket tournaments.

It had then looked around for a marketing agency, appointing Zee Telefilms' affiliate, Buddha Films when its bid of Rs 4,500 million's topped the list of companies which offered to market the matches. But then Buddha Films failed to deliver on its commitments and had its contracts cancelled and even its bank guarantees encashed by Prasar Bharati. The Prasar Bharati awarded the overseas marketing rights for networks in Australia, South Africa, the US, the UK, to Stracon-TWI combine for $43.75 million (Rs 1925 million).

Since then it has been providing the domestic air time rights to private agencies on a series by series basis.

With this new initiative, it looks like it is once again looking for a long time air time sales partner. Competition in sports television has hotted up with telecast rights for various sports events being carved out between ESPN-Star, Ten Sports, SET Max, and DD.

Applicants can get details of the bids from the Director (commercial) on payment of Rs 5,000 by Demand Draft in favour of 'Prasar Bharati Canara Bank Account' payable at New Delhi. The last date for receipt of the sealed bids is 20 August.

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