BCCI: ZEE not eligible for telecast rights


The BCCI today informed the Delhi High Court that it had given TV rights to Doordarshan for the telecast of India’s match against Sri Lanka and South Africa as an interim arrangement.

Senior Counsel Soli Sorabjee informed the Division Bench of Justice M K Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Khanna that the interim arrangment had been made in view of the fact India-Sri Lanka series was beginning on October 25 while India-South Africa was scheduled to start on November 16.

Sorabjee also informed the court that production for both the series will be done by TWI.

The BCCI said it had opened technical bids and found that ZEE Telefilms was not eligible to participate in financial bidding for the award of telecast and broadcast rights of cricket telecast in India for the next four years.

As senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for ZEE Telefilms, submitted that the interim arrangement was contrary to an assurance given by BCCI to the court that it would not grant any TV rights to any particular party pending the petition filed by ZEE, the court asked BCCI to file an affidavit giving details of the decision taken by it by Saturday and posted the matter for further hearing on Monday.

The court also asked BCCI to respond to an application filed by Rajasthan Cricket Association and Punjab Cricket Association seeking to be impleaded as a party to the petition.

A Division Bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Markandeya Katju had yesterday transferred ZEE Telefilm’s petition to the Division Bench headed by Justice M K Sharma.

Chief Justice Katju transferred the case as he had heard another telecast rights case between the parties in the Madras High Court.

Earlier, the court had allowed the BCCI to open technical bids to decide the eligibility of bidders including ZEE Telefilms for grant of telecast and broadcast rights in India for the next four years after ZEE said it had no objection to it.

However, it had asked BCCI not to disclose the outcome.

BCCI had sought permission to open the technical bids, saying Indo-Sri Lanka cricket series was to begin on 25th October and there was not much time left to decide the issue.

ZEE Telefilms had agreed to the suggestion with the condition that the outcome should not be made public and instead the court would be informed about it.

Report from Mid-Day magazine

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