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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Nimbus refuse to comment on Bill

Nimbus refuse to comment on Bill

March 09, 2007 15:40 IST

Nimbus chairman Harish Thawani refused to comment on the controversial remarks made by his rival companies that questioned the manner in which the Board of Control for Cricket in India accepted his bid of $612 million for the telecast of cricket matches to be played in India till March 2010.

"I am not joining issues with my rivals let them say whatever they want to. I have a contract with BCCI and I am discussing my problems with them. It is for the BCCI to sort out that problem," Thawani said.

According to sources, Thawani is expected to pay his second instalment of Rs 960 crore to the BCCI by March 28 and since he is not able to generate the money he is using pressure tactics to get out of a tight situation.

"He [Thawani] only has assets worth Rs 50 crore and BCCI thought it fit to give him a huge contract," said a top official of a private broadcasting company which has been telecasting cricket matches and exclusively handles sports programmes.

Thawani also insists that he is not involved in any manner in finding a solution to the Sports Broadcasting Signals Bill 2007, that was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The Bill makes it mandatory for private broadcasters to share live feed of major sports events with Doordarshan and All India Radio on a free to air basis.

"The matter is between the BCCI and ministry for information and broadcasting. Let Mr Sharad Pawar meet Priya  Ranjan Dasmunshi. I want to make sure how the encription would be done in DTH [direct to home]. Let the rich people pay," he said.

Thawani also wants other channels to share their feed with Prasar Bharati since the Bill has been passed.

Thawani has held two meetings with the BCCI top brass in his bid to reach an amicable solution. The Nimbus chief had also threatened not to pay to the Cricket Board unless or until his problems are addressed in a proper manner.

Onkar Singh in Mumbai