In a coup of sorts, public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) is on the verge of getting the terrestrial telecast rights for the ICC Championship Cup to be held in Sri Lanka as well as the World Cup 2003 without paying a penny.
The channel, which is negotiating with Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) for the terrestrial rights, is in fact being paid for it. Interestingly, GCC had originally asked DD to cough-up $90 million for the terrestrial telecast rights. Sony TV has already acquired the satellite telecast rights for the same.
According to KS Sarma, chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati, the deal is structured as a joint venture where the rights are the equity of GCC, while the DD platform with its massive reach is Prasar Bharati’s equity. GCC, which will have the marketing rights, has guaranteed to pay DD a minimum of Rs 1 crore per match telecast and all money earned over and above that will be shared in a ratio of 20:80 - 20 per cent to DD and 80 per cent to GCC.
Meanwhile, the board of Prasar Bharati is also considering the possibility of making DD Sports a free-to-air channel, as it mainly showcases Indian sports.
Sarma was in Chennai to implore compliance from the cable operators in Tamil Nadu in showing the three DD channels - DD-1, DD-2 and Podigai - on the prime band. However, the compliance in the state at 80-85 per cent is higher than in the rest of the nation, which is at less than 60 per cent, he said.