Mumbai: The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) has threatened to call off the forthcoming tour to India if the telecast row is not settled. The Indo-Australian four-test series starting October 6, 2004, is the first game covered under the four-year telecast rights currently in dispute and being fought in the Bombay High Court.
The Bombay High Court has been hearing the petition filed by ESPN-Star Sports challenging the BCCI's decision to award the telecast rights to Zee Telefilms for $ 308 million
ACB has asked Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to inform the status of the telecast at least a fortnight before the series is slated to begin. Going by the time frame, the BCCI should inform its Australian counterpart about the status of the telecast rights latest by today. The first test is slated to begin at Bangalore on October 6, this year.
Meanwhile, the BCCI told the Bombay High Court yesterday that it has powers to cancel the tender process as well as call for a fresh bid for telecast of cricket matches. It has indicated that it may do so in case the legal row between ESPN-Star Sports and Zee Telefilms Ltd is not resolved soon.
The BCCI counsel, KK Venugopal, said the matter needs to be resolved speedily as ACB has threatened to withdraw from the upcoming cricket matches in case the telecast does not take place.
The BCCI counsel passed on the message of the ACB and urged the court that the matter to be resolved expeditiously. However, there is a possibility that even if the court comes out with an early ruling, it will be challenged in higher courts.