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Broadband rights, Sachin’s jersey: all for sale

09-December-2005
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Broadband rights, Sachin’s jersey: all for sale

Cricket has always been the money-spinner par excellence in Indian sport, but the new Sharad Pawar dispensation seems to have decided it must spin enough to put a Shane Warne or Muralitharan to shame.

So it'll now have separate team sponsors for ICC events and other matches, an official kit supplier and even BCCI shops that sell Team India merchandise.

BCCI's marketing committee met in the Capital on Thursday and for the first time the board has made its ''future vision'' in terms of marketing, public. The new buzzwords are transparency, interface with fans and of course, more money.

The clearest sign of the desire to start with a clean slate is the committee's decision to seek the court's permission to scrap the ongoing tendering for TV rights - which is embroiled in legal battles - and invite fresh bids. It has also decided that rights for DTH telecasts will be sold separately.

If things go according to the new 'vision', you will be able to buy a Tendulkar No. 33 jersey, get clips of Dhoni's towering sixes on your mobile or listen to Dravid's interview on your favourite FM channel.

You can also buy DVDs and CDs of the team's matches, interviews and even practice sessions. And all of this will mean the cash registers keep ringing for the BCCI.

In a bid to maximise revenue - or 'milk the game' depending on how you view commercialisation of cricket - the committee not only talks of selling radio broadcast rights, broadband rights and player merchandise, it's also looking for a 'team kit sponsor'.

All this apart from the regular money-making exercises like selling TV rights, team and ground sponsorship. Unlike in the past, All India Radio will no longer have exclusive rights to radio broadcasts.

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