The Mumbai High Court yesterday suggested that ESPN-Star
Sports and Zee TV make fresh and final bids for the rights
to broadcast national and international cricket matches
to be played in India between October 2004 and September
rights will be granted to the highest bidder and the court
will not entertain any further appeals after this round
of bidding, chief justice D S Bhandari and justice D Y
Chandrachud told the court.
judges asked the contenders, ESPN-Star Sports and Zee
TV, to arrive at a consensus and settle the issue.
two parties are expected to submit their bids in sealed
envelopes to the registrar-general of the Mumbai High
Court on September 15. The bids will be opened on the
same day in the court.
Lawyers representing ESPN-Star Sports told the court that
the channel is willing to participate in a final bid process.
However, Zee said that it would have to seek its board''s
board is slated to meet on September 13. If the board
agrees to go in for a final bid, it will have to inform
ESPN-Star Sports and BCCI on Tuesday, the judges told
the company''s lawyers.
In the event of Zee''s board not agreeing for a final bid,
the ESPN-Star Sports case will be heard on September 16.
Zee Network had
emerged the highest bidder for telecast rights with its
bid of $260 million, followed by ESPN-Star Sports at $230
million. Sony Entertainment Television, Prasar Bharati
and Ten Sports were the other bidders.
the last round of negotiations, both Zee and ESPN-Star
raised their offer to $308 million as BCCI increased the
number of days of international cricket to 160 from 144.