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BCCI cancels telecast rights tender

Last updated on: September 21, 2004 15:52 IST

The Board of Control for Cricket in India told the Bombay high court on Tuesday it is cancelling the tender process for telecast rights of cricket matches following which ESPN-Star Sports withdrew its petition.

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The BCCI told the bench of Chief Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice D Y Chandrachud that its tender with Zee Telefilms is "not concluded" as the draft intent letter sent by it to Zee Telefilms was not accepted by the latter and negotiations are still continuing between the two parties.

The BCCI also said it requires at least 15-20 days to make arrangement for telecast production and to sign on advertisers.

The cricket Board also indicated that it may go for two new bids, one involving the next three cricket series between October 2004 to April 2005 and another for the next four years.

It added that in view of the upcoming series between India and Australia, beginning October 6, they will "cancel the tender and produce on its own or otherwise".

ESPN-Star Sports withdrew its petition after the BCCI told the court about its decision to cancel the tender. It said that as the BCCI cancelled the tender, there is no ground for the petition to survive.

Zee Telefilms, however, argued that the tender process had been concluded as it had been asked to make arrangements for production by the BCCI.

It also asked the court to record that the legal row over telecast rights had not been adjudicated and that the BCCI had accepted an initial surety amount of 20 million US dollars from it.

Zee Telefilms vehemently argued that it is ready to produce the upcoming series and said the BCCI's contention that Australia may cancel its tour is groundless.

The tender process had been challenged by ESPN-Star Sports through a petition questioning the award of the $308 million telecast rights for cricket matches to be played in India between October 2004 and September 2008 to Zee Telefilms by BCCI.

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