The dispute over cricket telecast rights has reached the top space in the land. ZEE Telefilms has withdrawn its case against Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI, against the abrupt decision to cancel the rights which it won.

ZEE had last year moved the Supreme Court seeking restoration of its right acquired by it after a successful bid. In its writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, ZEE made Union government as the key respondent and urged the court to withdraw the case on ‘amicable’ basis. Jagmohan Dalmiya, ESPN Star and Price Water Cooper Pvt Ltd are the other respondents for the same.

Note that, BCCI has canceled the tender process that had resulted in a contract being awarded to ZEE Telefilms to telecast matches to be played in India from October 2004 to September 2008. In October last year, ESPN Star Sports insisted that ZEE Telefilms was not eligible as it did not possess the required two year experience in producing live international cricket matches. And, ZEE asserted that ESPN Star Sports similarly lacked the requirement which they had been holding against the entertainment major.

Also the new marketing committee of the BCCI has met today, though a final decision on awarding the cricket footage was not cleared. The committee will meet again on December 20 on TV Rights Issue.

The BCCI has taken an in-principle decision to amend certain clauses in the bidding process that will enable ZEE Telefilms to participate without any hitch. BCCI will cancel the ongoing tender and will come out with a fresh tender in January 2006. BCCI also decided to put out tenders for the team sponsors shortly.

The panel is headed by BCCI president Sharad Pawar and comprises three former BCCI presidents as members ? I.S. Bindra, A.C. Muthiah and Ranbir Singh Mahendra. It also has five vice-presidents including Rajasthan Cricket Association chief Lalit Modi as members.

Apart from TV Rights, DTH rights and Broadband rights will be introduced from next year. These rights will be sold separately from the TV one. Though, the Radio Rights would be given free of cost.