It is all about the established brand versus the challenger so far as telecast rights for showing cricket on the boob tube. The spat continues with two media biggies pulling out all stops to bag the television broadcasting rights for all international cricket matches played on Indian soil over the next four years. Specialist sports telecaster ESPN-STAR Sports and the cash-rich new contender Zee Telefilms, the two heavyweight contenders, got a fresh lease of life with the Board of Control for Cricket in India failing to take a final decision on Tuesday.
In a meeting of BCCI members, held in Kolkata on Tuesday, the cricket body has decided to take some more time to choose the winning channel. “We need lot more clarifications – specially on the technical issues, and we cannot take a decision unless we are sure,” said BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmia.
BCCI has decided to hold another meeting in September after Dalmia returns from his forthcoming visit to the Netherlands beginning Friday. The Board would fix the date and venue for the final meeting only after Dalmia’s return. “We are looking forward to an early settlement,” Dalmia told exchange4media.
Tuesday’s meeting discussed at length various aspects of the audit report, evaluated by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In this multi-million-dollar battle, Zee has lined up $ 260 million against ESPN-STAR’s bid of $ 230 million. In fact, Zee has made a further commitment of Rs 95 crore to develop domestic cricket in India in tie-up with the Cricket Board. The top two bidders are distantly followed by Prasar Bharti’s $ 150 million, Sony Entertainment’s $ 132 million and TEN Sports’ $ 115 million.