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Ten Sports denies India-Pakistan cricket series telecast rights to Doordarshan

09-January-2004
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Ten Sports denies India-Pakistan cricket series telecast rights to Doordarshan

Prasar Bharati's talks with Ten Sports, the rights holders of upcoming India-Pakistan cricket matches have failed. The talks were being held by K.S. Sarma, CEO Prasar Bharati with Peter Hutton of Ten Sports to seek deferred live telecast rights for these matches.

Prasar Bharati was looking for 30-60 minute deferred live telecasts on revenue sharing basis. "On the lines of World Cup Cricket, we had asked them to give us bank guarantee of Rs. 5 crore per match to use our platform and share the revenue in 70:30 ratio in favour of Ten Sports. But that was not acceptable to them. They were prepared to provide only highlights of the India-Pakistan matches", says Sarma.

Ten Sports bosses told Sarma that they could not allow the telecast of matches on Doordarshan since they had already sold the airtime to advertisers for whole year by exclusively packaging India-Pakistan matches with other programming on the channel.

Sarma however says that Prasar Bharati is making other efforts' (veiled reference to diplomatic pressure through Pakistan) by involving Pakistan Cricket Board to get India-Pakistan cricket matches telecast rights. Meanwhile Prasar Bharati has also got cold shoulder from Cricket Control Board on the issue of rights for BCCI cricket matches. Prasar Bharati wanted to have these rights on revenue sharing basis which BCCI declined. BCCI instead asked Prasar Bharati to participate in the bid for the telecast rights.

It may be mentioned that last time, Prasar Bharati had, bid Rs. 250 crore for securing rights for 7 ODIs and 4 test matches of BCCI. This time it has to bid for 10 ODIs and 4 test matches per year for four years. In its meeting yesterday Prasar Bharati Board took a decision to open fresh negotiations with BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya in this regard. Meanwhile Prasar Bharati has succeeded in getting the broadcast rights of all 15 ODIs in Australia on AIR for a telecast fee of Rs. 60 lakh. AIR has already booked ads worth Rs. 3 crore for these matches.

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