The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to “blacklist” ZEE Sports and Ten Sports.
The decision was made in view of the ongoing fracas between BCCI and the Subhash Chandra-owned ICL.
The decision would mean that both the sport broadcasters would not be allowed to participate in the bidding of the broadcast rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) BCCI’s version of the Twenty20 game. This would mean that the fight for the rights would be restricted to only three players Nimbus, ESPN-Star and Sony.
The reason for blacklisting the two channels is quite clear. A senior BCCI official said that ZEE Sports defaulted in not renewing its bank guarantee for the neutral venues contract that was awarded to them by the BCCI earlier this year.
“There’s no question about either ZEE Sports or Ten Sports bidding for the IPL rights. ZEE Sports is in any case officially blacklisted by the board, and Ten Sports automatically falls under the same category on account of its partnership with ZEE,” a senior BCCI official told The Economic Times.
When The Economic Times contacted, ZEE Sports CEO Himanshu Mody said, “We have sent them an arbitration notice for the cancellation of the neutral venues contract. The matter in our opinion is sub-judice.” However, Taj TV (Ten Sports) CEO Chris McDonald said, “I’m not aware of any such move by the BCCI.”
Having said that, Ten sports recently bagged the Zimbabwe and South Africa cricket board rights for the next one year. However, with ICL rubbing all the international boards as well as the International Cricket Control (ICC) the wrong way, the partnership with ZEE might pose a problem for Ten Sports in the long run.
However, a ZEE Sport source said, “ZEE is just a 50% partner, and the management control still lies with Ten Sports. So BCCI does not have any real legal ground to disqualify Ten Sport from bidding.”
Article from The Economic Times