Prasar Bharati CEO, K S Sarma, has written a letter to Sharad Pawar, President of BCCI, restraining them from going ahead with giving cricket broadcast rights to private radio channels. Prasar Bharati has already been given non-exclusive rights for radio, whereas it is demanding exclusive rights within India.
It may be mentioned here that BCCI, in its marketing committee meeting held on December 9, had decided to sell satellite, DTH, Internet and mobile telephony rights separately while giving terrestrial rights to Doordarshan on revenue sharing (75:25) in favour of BCCI, though the downlinking policy provided for a negotiated agreement over revenue sharing between Prasar Bharati and the right holder.
In the meeting it was also decided that AIR would be given radio rights on non-exclusive basis, while BCCI would seek bids from private FM radio channels to be sold separately for each city.
Presenting Prasar Bharati’s case, Sarma pointed out in his letter to Pawar that no private FM radio channel, as per their licence conditions issued by the government, was permitted to do any commentary on their radio stations.
As such, Sarma has demanded exclusive radio rights for AIR within India, adding that BCCI could, however, include overseas radio rights in its tender document. Sarma also expressed hope that in its new tender document BCCI would keep terrestrial telecast rights out, thereby enabling Prasar Bharati to perform its public broadcaster’s role in a more effective manner.