After receiving a renewed proposal from the Prasar Bharati for upcoming cricket series, ESPN has signed an agreement with the public broadcaster to provide the terrestrial telecast rights to Doordarshan for the ODI matches on a 75:25 revenue sharing basis.
Prasar Bharati CEO, K S Sharma, informed media persons on Wednesday that he had sent a new pre-bid MoUs to all private sports broadcasters for the upcoming cricket series. “The proposal has been sent to ESPN, Ten Sports, STAR Sports, Zee Sports and Sony.”
He added that under the new proposal, the same 75:25 revenue sharing formula was retained. “We have also told them that we are not interested in the Test matches, but only in ODIs. We would only telecast the highlights of it,” he told.
When queried as to what was new in this proposal, R C Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN-STAR Sports, said, “We have the single concern about the exclusivity of the Test matches. As the proposal takes care of it, we have signed the MoU.”
When asked whether this ended the whole controversy regarding content sharing with the public broadcaster, Venkateish said, “This shows that agreeable solutions could be reached.”
For the ongoing Indo-Pak series, Ten Sports and Prasar Bharati had reached an agreement at the behest of the Supreme Court under which the latter paid a sum of Rs 15 crore and was allowed to show uninterrupted feed of the ODIs on Doordarshan.
Many of the private sports channels had expressed their grudge about the new Downlinking Policy, which requires all private sports broadcasters to share the live-feed of sports events of national importance with the public broadcaster. Ten Sports has been fighting against the policy in courts.