Viveat Susan Pinto

Sony, DD slug it out for C&S rights of India-Pak cricket series

Kaun banega cricket-pati? Is it challenger Sony, or pubcaster Doordarshan, which has even released a composite rate card for the series?

Sony Entertainment Television, which runs MAX, has reportedly put a hefty bid of $40 million for the satellite rights of the forthcoming India-Pakistan cricket series. The deal includes air time sales and telecast rights for India and international markets.

Normally, such a bid would have got the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) excited. Not now. That's because on February 24, 2005, the Madras High Court, via an interim order, gave the telecast rights of cricket series to state-run Prasar Bharati, implying that Doordarshan would carry the 'live feed' of the tournament.

The takeout, according to some media observers, was that DD will be handling the terrestrial and satellite rights of the series. DD even dispatched a composite rate card to planners & buyers for the series on February 25, bunching its terrestrial channel DD National and C&S channel DD Sports together.

The Sony bid has now added a twist in the tale. In fact, according to industry sources, Harish Thawani’s Nimbus Communications and Ten Sports are also in the race.

Now, given the fact that DD has been mandated by the courts to carry the live feed of the series, can BCCI entertain bids for the C&S rights of the series?

Clarity on this issue could not be sought from BCCI officials, though media reports indicate that a “disagreement exists between Prasar Bharati and the board” on the subject.

Some serious monies are at stake for the pubcaster; the ad revenue potential of the series is estimated to be about Rs 250 crore.

The ad rates floated by DD for the series are as follows: DD Sports: Rs 3 lakh and DD National: Rs 2.50 lakh (for a 10-second spot during a one-day international). For a test match, the rates are: DD Sports: Rs 60,000 and DD National: Rs 50,000.

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

Have news to share? Write to us