In an attempt to keep only specialised sports broadcasters in the fray for the four-year cricket telecast rights starting from October 2005, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now specified that it would not entertain any bid through a consortium.
This would ensure that companies, which do not possess the mandatory three consecutive years' cricket telecast experience, do not attempt to get backdoor entry by tying up with entities that qualify under this criteria. "No tender by a consortium would be accepted," it said.
"The clause to not allow consortium will make the entry of non-sports channels very difficult. Only the well-established sports broadcasters would be eligible," said industry sources. In fact, marketing companies, too, have been kept out of the fray.
However, the national broadcaster could be at an advantage. For the BCCI has also stated that telecast rights cannot be transferred to any other company — be it event management, marketing or broadcasting company — except Doordarshan.
It has also decided that no segregation of rights would be allowed. Just a few days ago, the national broadcaster had written to the BCCI to unbundle the terrestrial rights from the cable and satellite rights.
For viewer convenience, the BCCI has asked broadcasters to give an undertaking ensuring that all international matches would be aired live on a ball-by-ball basis without any interruptions or scroll. Also, no replays can be interrupted through advertisements, it said. "While advertisements can be inserted between overs, this clause is to prevent broadcasters from snipping out balls at the beginning or end of each over," said sources.