ZEE Network has won the global overseas media rights for matches played by India at neutral venues (non-ICC member countries) over the next five years.

The contract awarded to ZEE Network today starts from 1st April 2006 to 31st March 2011, including the upcoming Indo-Pak ODI DLF Cup series in Abu Dhabi. The announcement was made at a press conference held in the Mumbai city today, which was preceded by a 2hr long tallying session in the presence of the BCCI marketing committee and the bidders. Also present was Salim Altaf, Director Cricket Operations – Pakistan Cricket Board as an independent observer.

The other companies in the fray for the bids were Nimbus, ESPN Star Sports, Sahara One, and ZEE Telefilms. The global media rights tender offers to ZEE Telefilms all Television, Radio and Internet rights in non ICC member countries where matches may be played, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Holland, England – Lords, Oval and Birmingham, Toronto, New York and Tristate Area, Houston, Chicago, Palo Alto and bay area, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking at the conference Lalit Modi, Vice President BCCI and Chairman Marketing Sub-Committee said, “These rights will ensure coverage of matches played by India in non ICC member countries as well. Professionalizing this aspect of Indian Cricket Management will make the sport, especially the Indian game accessible to Indian Communities across the globe including the non ICC member countries. The BCCI is happy to welcome ZEE Telefilms as a partner, and look forward to a successful partnership with them. We are certain they will enable great coverage and penetration for the game amongst the people the world over.”

The Media rights kicks off with the forth-coming Indo-Pak friendship series (DLF Cup) that will be played at the Zayed Stadium on 18th and 19th April 2006 in Abu Dhabi. The first day of the DLF Cup is being organized as a fundraiser for the October 2005 earthquake victims in Pakistan and India. These matches are recognized by ICC and will be counted as official One Day Internationals (ODI). The Ground Rights for this series has been secured by PDM International at a bid of 3.61 million USD.

ZEE Network UK is yet to make a decision on whether it will telecast the matches. We will keep you posted.