Post Zee walkout, Nimbus bags rights for Ireland series

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | June 01, 2007
Also, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has awarded the global rights of the Afro Asia Cup 2007 to ESPN Star Sports - rights which were previously with Nimbus

The Zee-BCCI

fallout has resulted in an interesting turn of events. Nimbus has bagged the telecast rights for the four cricket one-day internationals to be played by India in Ireland in June 2007. Nimbus will pay $6.05 million per match for the series, which is to be played from June 26 to July 1. This development was announced by Lalit Modi, V-P, Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The series involves three ODIs against South Africa and another against Ireland in Belfast. The schedule was uncertain after Zee Television pulled out of its contract with the BCCI two days ago. Zee's deal with the BCCI was for a four-year period with a minimum of 25 one-day matches featuring the Indian team in neutral venues.

In another development, Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the apex body for managing cricket in Asia, has awarded the worldwide rights for telecasting the second edition of the Afro-Asia Cup to ESPN Star Sports, which includes exclusive global television broadcast rights of the tournament, in addition to title and on-ground rights. All other commercial rights are also included as part of this deal, along with the responsibility for television production of the matches.

The Afro-Asia Cup, which is played between the best players from countries representing Asia and Africa, will be held in Bangalore and Chennai in June 2007. Three day/night matches (ODIs) will be played on June 6 (Bangalore) and on June 9 and June 10 (Chennai). In addition to the three ODIs, there will be a women's Twenty20 Asia versus Africa match and a men's Twenty20 Asia versus Africa match in Bangalore on June 5.

The rights for the Afro-Asia Cup were previously with Nimbus, which walked out of its deal with the Asian Cricket Council for the Afro-Asian Cup, the global rights to which have now been awarded to ESPN-Star Sports. But ACC has a different story to tell: According to it, the contract stands cancelled due to Nimbus' non-fulfilment of contractual obligations.

ACC's relationship with ESPN Star Sports isn't new; the channel had previously showcased the Asia Cup 2004, a premier ACC event, held in Colombo. ESPN Star Sports also has the exclusive telecast rights for the next Asia Cup to be played in May 2008 in Pakistan. Recently, ESPN Star Sports bagged the International Cricket Council (ICC) global telecast and marketing rights as well, until 2015.

Speaking about the development, Syed Ashraful Huq, CEO, ACC, says, "ESPN Star Sports brings a lot of value, not only through a large distribution network, but also in the way it presents the sport through scheduling, good quality production and a team of expert commentators."

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