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ZEE, ESPN-STAR in running for ICC rights bid

Deja vu! ZEE Network and ESPN-STAR are fighting out again over cricket TV rights, this time it’s the broadcasting rights for the International Cricket Council�۪s World Cup and various other tournaments played between 2007 – 2015.

As confirmed yesterday, Sony Entertainment Television Asia pulled out due to financial reasons, today, the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) also opted out.

This now makes the path clear for giants ZEE Network and ESPN-STAR, along with Ten Sports and Rupert Murdoch-controlled Global Cricket Corporation, which had won the bid previously by paying $550 million.

The closing date for the bids were today.

Up for grabs are the broadcast rights for 18 ICC tournaments starting from the second half of 2007 till the World Cup in 2015. This time, the biggest attraction will be the four 20 over tournaments added to the overall offer, taking the number of cricket broadcasting days to 570. As per the estimates, there will be 130 days of World Cup cricket, 45 days of ICC Champions Trophy and 96 days of 20:20 tournaments, in addition to the tournaments like Under 19 and Women�۪s Worldcup. Compared to this, in the last bid, the total days of cricket on offer were 270 days.