labels: espn software india , entertainment, zee group
BCCI to cancel tender for telecast rights news
22 September 2004

As a result, ESPN-Star Sports withdrew its petition against BCCI for awarding the telecast rights to Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL).

Subhash Chandra, chairman and managing director, ZTL, told journalists that he suspected a conspiracy between BCCI and ESPN-Star Sports. ZTL plans to file a petition against BCCI in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

BCCI''s counsel, K.K. Venugopal, told the division bench of chief justice Dalveer Bhandari and justice Dhananjay Chandrachud that there was no concluding contractual agreement between the cricket board and ZTL.

A draft letter of intent was offered to ZTL; however, the latter did not accept it, as it wanted to renegotiate on some of the conditions, said Venugopal and added that BCCI therefore, was exercising its powers to cancel the tender process. As there is an urgency to finalise the arrangements for production and telecast of the India-Australia series, BCCI is looking at producing and telecasting on its own, Venugopal said.

The Board is also examining the option of going in for two sets of bids — one for the first three series (India-Australia; India-South Africa and India-Pakistan) and the second for cricket matches played in India — for a period of four years commencing May 2005.

However, Rafique Dada appearing for ZTL, argued that the network was ready to produce the India-Australia series and had already initiated discussions with some production companies. Dada told the court that BCCI was making statements contrary to its affidavit. "Why should they defer from their earlier stand and go for a re-bid?" he asked the court.

ZTL has also submitted an initial surety amount of $20 million. About this, the BCCI lawyer said that the Board would return the money to the company. In the first tender for telecast floated by BCCI, ZTL had emerged the highest bidder at $260 million (around Rs1,194 crore) and later hiked the amount to $308 million (around Rs1,415 crore) during subsequent rounds of negotiations. BCCI had selected ZTL as the broadcaster for these telecast rights.

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BCCI to cancel tender for telecast rights