It was sweet revenge for Zee Telefilms, which beat Nimbus to win the global overseas media rights for international cricket matches played by India in neutral venues (non-ICC member countries). Zee emerged victorious in the tender process with a bid amount of $219.15 million. Nimbus was the second highest bidder with an amount $200.07 million. The BCCI had opened the bids on Thursday.
Zee Telefilms has acquired media rights for 25 matches for a period of five years beginning April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2011, including the upcoming Indo-Pak ODI, DLF Cup series, to be played in Abu Dhabi.
The other companies that took part in the bid process included SaharaOne and ESPN. The global media rights tender won by Zee includes all television, radio and Internet rights in non-ICC member countries where matches may be played, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Holland, England (Lords, Oval and Birmingham), Toronto, New York and Tristate Area, Houston, Chicago, Palo Alto and Bay Area, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.
Speaking to exchange4media, Gaurav Seth, VP, Marketing, Zee Sports said, “This acquisition is very important for Zee Sports because it is our first time long run acquisition. We expect huge viewership as all the matches will be played in Western countries and hence, just right for prime time in India.”
When asked whether Zee had taken into account the loss that it might have to bear as it has to share the matches with Doordarshan, Seth said, “We have factored in that loss while bidding, so it won’t be a problem.”
“These rights will ensure coverage of matches played by India in non-ICC member countries as well. Professionalising this aspect of Indian cricket management will make the sport, especially the Indian game, accessible to Indian communities across the globe, including the non-ICC member countries. The BCCI is happy to welcome Zee Telefilms as a partner, and look forward to a successful partnership with them. We are certain they will enable great coverage and penetration for the world over,” said Lalit Modi, Vice-President BCCI and Chairman marketing sub-committee.
The media rights kicks off with the forthcoming Indo-Pak friendship series (DLF Cup) that will be played at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on April 18 and 19. The first day of the DLF Cup is being organised as a fundraiser for the October 2005 earthquake victims in Pakistan and India. These matches are recognised by the ICC and will be counted as official One Day Internationals. The ground rights for this series has been secured by PDM International at a bid of $3.61 million.