Seeking to beat international sports broadcast specialists ESPN-Star Sports, Indian television channel ZEE has made a proposal of Rs 94.5 crore for development of domestic cricket as part of its efforts to get cricket telecast rights from the Board of Control for Cricket in India for Rs 1206 crore.
"It is the vision of BCCI to develop domestic cricket. Our offer of Rs 94.5 crore is towards this direction," Ashish Kaul, vice-president (Corporate Brand Development), ESSEL Group, told PTI.
Zee has made a bid of 260 million dollars for securing telecast rights for four years but in the face of competition from ESPN-Star, it has offered to make the extra provision of Rs 94.5 crore for development of domestic cricket. The specialised sports channel ESPN-Star is understood to have made a bid of 230 million dollars.
Although Zee's bid is understood to be the highest, BCCI kept the issue open for entertaining better offers and the matter would be discussed on Saturday at a meeting in Chennai.
ZEE Telefilms owns and operates the largest number of television channels in India, totalling 19 across a spectrum of six languages with the ZEE and Alpha brands, Kaul said, adding, "ZEE is planning to launch a sports channel next year."
Asked about the bid amount at 260 million dollar and whether it is a rational bid, Kaul said, "ZEE has prepared a detailed plan for partnering BCCI and support in building BCCI brand as the Emotional Quotient of Indian cricket.
"It is BCCI's vision that ZEE proposes to build and nurture in due course," he added.