ZEE & ESPN in another row with BCCI over rights

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If you thought the row over India cricket rights was over..think again!

The latest round of allegation and counter-elucidations relates to overseas cricket telecast rights for Indo-Pakistan cricket matches to be played in neutral venues with one set of bidders alleging ���irregularities�۝ in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The charge that the Indian cricket board is allegedly biased towards Sahara One Media & Entertainment, which is presently telecasting the ongoing India-England home cricket series on Sahara One channel, however, has been dismissed by the BCCI as ���making a mountain of a molehill.�۝

If that�۪s not enough, media reports from Pakistan hint that while the BCCI is going ahead full steam with the proposed cricket matches — 25 in number over a period of few years — actually no formal agreement exist between it and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which is as much owners of the cricket matches as the Indian cricket board.

On the last day of submission of financial bids for Indo-Pak cricket on neutral venues, some companies like ZEE Telefilms, ESPN Star Sports and Nimbus today have alleged that tender documents criteria ���seem to have been totally ignored by Sahara in the bid submission process.�۝

BCCI has fixed a reserve price of $ 5 million dollars a match and the total revenue generated could be in excess of $120 million.

The basic thrust of the allegations listed in the letter, a copy of which is available with Indiantelevision.com, is not only the Sahara group submitted its bids after the deadline of 11 a.m. today, but also flouted a condition of bringing the bids in open envelopes.

Whether the BCCI takes note of the protests lodged by the likes of ZEE, ESS and Nimbus can only be gauged when the financial bids are opened today (6 April) and the successful candidate announced.

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