The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expecting to generate at least Rs 1,000 crore from the sale of telecast rights in the next four years.
It is understood that the Board has fixed a floor price of about Rs 9 crore for each match day. Last year, Zee Telefilms, which was the highest bidder, had offered Rs 1,400 crore for the four-year cricket rights to all the matches played in India.
After the controversy surrounding the award of cricket telecast rights last year, the BCCI has now clearly stipulated that only broadcasters with cricket telecasting experience in the last three years (in 2002, 2003 and 2004) would be permitted to bid.
According to Invitation to Tender (ITT) issued by the Board last week for matches to be played in India between October 1, 2005 and September 30, 2009, marketing companies would not be allowed to bid for these matches. Only those having their own existing television channel will be eligible. The Board has fixed August 23, 2005 as the last date for receipt of tenders.
Last year, the BCCI's award of telecast rights got mired in a legal tussle. While Zee Telefilms emerged as the highest bidder, ESPN-Star Sports challenged BCCI's decision to award telecast rights to the Indian broadcaster. Subsequently, the Board cancelled the tender. Zee Telefilms then challenged BCCI's decision.
Speaking to newspersons after the Working Committee Meeting, Mr Ranbir Singh Mahendra, President, BCCI, said that the Board would strictly adhere to criteria laid down in the tender document.
Mr S.K. Nair, Secretary, BCCI, told Business Line, "We burnt our fingers last time. This time we have to be very careful."
He also acknowledged that Prasar Bharati has asked the Board to unbundle the terrestrial rights from the cable and satellite rights.