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ESPN-Star Sports claim highest qualifying bid

August 15, 2004 14:25 IST

ESPN-Star Sports claimed to have made the highest qualifying bid for the lucrative telecast rights of cricket matches in India from the current season to until 2007-08.

"Under the terms for the bid for BCCI cricket, the ESPN-Star Sports bid was the highest qualifying bid under the rules of bidding specified by the BCCI," R C Venkateish, Managing Director of the private television network, said in a media release in Delhi, late on Saturday night.

Referring to claims of Zee Network that they were the highest bidder, he said the company had offered a larger bid but did not qualify since they did not have prior experience of broadcasting live matches.

"Although Zee Network had offered a larger bid, they clearly did not qualify as they have had no experience of broadcasting or producing live international cricket event as specified in the tender," he claimed.

The deadline for submission of sealed bids for the telecast and radio broadcast rights ended at 2.00 PM yesterday.

BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya confirmed to PTI from Kolkata that the bids were opened on Saturday in the presence of all the bidders along with BCCI Finance Committee chairman N Srinivasan and Joint Secretary R S Shetty.

"Audit firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers were asked to receive and open the bids which were signed by the notary public as per law," Dalmiya said.

"The papers are, however, yet to be received by me, so I am in no position to say whose bid is the highest," he said.

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