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Cricket board raises sponsorship bar

13-December-2005
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Cricket board raises sponsorship bar

BCCI likely to mop up Rs 250 crore from sponsorship deals for four years.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to raise the bar for team sponsorship to Rs 90 lakh for each One-Day International and Rs 1 crore for every Test match.

BCCI Vice-President Lalit Modi said sponsorship deals, to be signed for four years, were expected to rake in about Rs 250 crore. Industry sources said this would be more than double of what the board was paid by Sahara for its contract that was about to expire.

However, even as the new marketing committee of the board is looking to open newer revenue channels, Prasar Bharati Chief Executive KS Sarma today wrote to BCCI President Sharad Pawar that no radio channel other than All India Radio could broadcast live cricket commentary.

The marketing committee, at its meeting on Friday, had decided to unbundle broadcast rights. As part of the initiative, AIR will get radio rights free but on a non-exclusive basis.

BCCI had decided to sell FM broadcast rights separately to private players, in addition to inviting separate bids for Internet, broadband and DTH telecast.

“No private FM channel in the country, as per the licence condition issued by the government, is permitted to give any commentary on its radio station. This is for your information so that you put radio rights overseas only as part of your tender and continue to give All India Radio the right to broadcast commentary free of charge as already announced recently,” said Sarma's letter.

On the sponsorship front, though, BCCI appears to be well placed. Big names of corporate India, such as AirTel and Videocon, have shown interest, in addition to Sahara saying that it will re-bid.

BCCI today floated the bid documents for a four-year contract starting January 1 next year. Bids must be submitted by December 19. BCCI's marketing committee will open the bids on December 20 in New Delhi.

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