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DSport sends notice to Impress Matra for protecting its BPL T20 broadcast interest

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MUMBAI: After the CSA (Cricket South Africa) T20 Global league fiasco, it seems another T20 league is in a mess, albeit of a different kind.

DSport, the sports channel from the Discovery Networks stable, has served a legal notice to restrain the reselling agent Impress Matra Consortium (IMC), which had in October 2016 pocketed the worldwide broadcast rights of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Cricket for 2017-19 seasons (excluding Bangladesh).

According to DSport, they entered into a conclusive and binding contract with IMC for the global media rights (all forms) excluding Bangladesh for three years 2017-2019 on 22 September, 2017. 

In a legal notice dated 8 October, signed by Imran Anwar, barrister-at-law, Tanjim Alam and Associates, served on the Impress Matra, DSport has called upon IMC to perform its obligations under the contract entered by it with the former, as per which transmission and distribution rights had been offered to it for three seasons.

Three companies other than Impress -- Gazi Satellite Television Ltd, Ardent and Mediacom Consortium and Top of Mind -- vied for obtaining the BPL broadcast rights. The rights winner Impress became eligible to sell the rights to other companies in addition to telecasting the matches.

DSport alleges that the IMC members have gone incommunicado after entering into the agreement, and are not returning calls or responding to email communication. Left with no other option, DSport has served the notice with a time deadline, and says it plans to move courts in several jurisdictions to restrain IMC from dealing with any other party in respect to these rights.

The BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) has also been served with a copy of the notice, Discovery stated.

DSport has also sent cautionary notices to parties across the globe asking them not to deal with any other party in respect of these rights.

DSport has also written to the BCB CEO Nazim Uddin Chowdhury as well as the BPL governing council chairman Afzalur Rahman Sinha apprising them of the conduct of their franchisee, and has urged them to intervene in the matter.

A DSport spokesperson confirmed the developments and said they will be moving courts in Dhaka (Bangladesh) over the next couple of days to take suitable action to protect their rights. 

The 4th BPL T20 cricket will kick off in Dhaka on 4 November with the participation of seven franchise teams -- defending champions Comilla Victorians, runners-up Barisal Bulls, Dhaka Dynamites, Rangpur Riders, Chittagong Vikings, Khulna Titans and Rajshahi Kings. Apart from Dhaka, Chittagong will host the BPL matches.

Let's hope this saga, unlike CSA T20 Global League, has a happier ending, and fans get to enjoy the matches.

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