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ESPN to sell ad spots on DD for Indo-Pak series with Rs 220 mn minimum guarantee bid

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NEW DELHI: ESPN Star Sports will sell advertisement spots on Doordarshan for the upcoming India-Pakistan cricket series, having bid an amount of Rs 220 million as minimum guaranteed revenue.

DD Director General Tripurari Sharan told indiantelevision.com that the public broadcaster had bid an amount of Rs 180 million.

ESPN, which holds the telecast rights for the one-day international and twenty20 series, also agreed to provide Doordarshan match feed without any embedded advertisement for terrestrial transmission.

Under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007, ESPN will share 25 per cent of the revenues with Doordarshan.

The deal covers both the Pakistan series and the one-day international and twenty20 series with England next month. The series with Pakistan starts next week.

Sharan, in reply to a question, said no decision has been taken yet by the government on a plea by Prasar Bharati that its share should be more than 25 per cent.

The bidding process was conducted after the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry officials intervened to settle Doordarshan‘s differences with ESPN and the BCCI over providing feed without embedded advertisements.

Sharan said "ESPN had said there will be ‘digital commercial enhancement‘ of the feed coming from the BCCI." This meant logos and other promotional material of the sponsors were to be part of the feed. Consequently, DD asked the Ministry to intervene, and the latter wrote to ESPN and BCCI saying that there would be no advertisements.

According to the Act, it is mandatory for the rights holder of any sporting event of national importance to share the feed with the public broadcaster. Doordarshan, in turn, is required to share 75 per cent of the advertisement revenue with the rights holder.

The party responsible for selling advertisements, called revenue management company, is decided through a bidding process. Doordarshan lost money on the India-Sri Lanka T20 series earlier this year when it bid Rs 200 million against ESPN‘s bid of Rs 20 million. Although it managed to earn the bid amount, it had to pay 75 per cent to ESPN and so lost revenue from the normal telecasts.

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