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GCC dumps Doordarshan on marketing of ICC Champions Trophy<br> Doordarshan to have only truncated telecast

19-September-2002
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GCC dumps Doordarshan on marketing of ICC Champions Trophy<br> Doordarshan to have only truncated telecast

The recent sponsorship controversy involving top Indian cricketers that was resolved just days before the start of the ICC Champions Trophy, however continues to cast its long shadow on the national broadcaster, which had secured the terrestrial telecast rights of the event along with World Cup 2003 and 2007 from NewsCorps subsidiary Global Cricket Corporation (GCC). The marketing of the event was to be done by GCC (represented in India by WSG Nimbus). GCC and Doordarshan had agreed to share the advertising revenue in the ratio of 80:20 in favour of GCC.

Doordarshan was initially to telecast nine matches, which included India fixtures, semi-finals, and finals besides some other matches. But GCC bogged down by uncertainty over the best Indian team taking part in the ICC Champions Trophy could not do marketing of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Doordarshan DG S Y Quraishi told exchange4media that they were informed by the GCC that since the telecast of the ICC Champions Trophy was not commercially viable, only five matches will be telecast for which they would provide telecast signals.

According to Quraishi even the contract between the GCC and Doordarshan for the telecast of ICC Champions Trophy and World Cup 2003 and 2007 was signed on September 13 a day after the ICC Champions Trophy began on September 12. The negotiations where clinched only on September 11. It may be mentioned that the negotiations got prolonged and the contract could not be signed earlier as WSG Nimbus was not agreeing to give bank guarantee for the event, which Doordarshan had demanded. This bank guarantee was in lieu of the minimum guarantee money (Rs 75 lakhs to Rs 1.5 crores for each match) which GCC had agreed to pay to Doordarshan. The total bank guarantee amounted to Rs 9 to 10 crores. Quraishi told that Doordarshan had already got a bank guarantee of Rs 5.5 crores. And according to him the reaming amount of bank guarantee will be furnished to Doordarshan only if India reaches semi-finals.

Though Doordarshan is sitting pretty over the minimum guarantee money, which it is getting without spending anything on securing telecast rights of ICC Champions Trophy, it will however be losing precious revenue, which would have accrued to it if WSG Nimbus would have marketed the event well. Each match was expected to generate 6,000 seconds of commercial time for advertisement and advertising industry sources had estimated that the 2002-03 World Cup season would draw around Rs 2000 crores in advertising revenue for the national broadcasters.

Meanwhile Sony Entertainment Television which is telecasting the entire cricketing event live is smiling to glory, hoping to make an advertising kill.

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