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Dalmiya questions TV rights award

March 07, 2006 18:59 IST

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India president Jagmohan Dalmiya on Tuesday raised questions on the award of global media rights by the Board and alleged that it has lost Rs 81.40 crore on the deal.

Quoting tender documents and other communications from the Board to the bidders, Dalmiya said that though BCCI has awarded global media rights to Nimbus Communications for a total USD 612.18 million, if the highest bid was considered the Board should have received USD 630.27 million.

"This means the Board did not receive USD 18.09 million and this converted to Indian currency works out to Rs 81.40 crore," Dalmiya said.

"This obviously leads to some serious questions. Was any undue advantage given to Nimbus? Whether any vested interest was at work? Whether concession was given to somebody by somebody?" Dalmiya asked.

Dalmiya said Nimbus Communications (India) was the highest bidder with USD 504.09 for the India rights, while for the international rights the highest offer of USD 126.18 million was given by Nimbus Sports Pte (Singapore).

"But we find that the entire rights were given to Nimbus Communications [India] even though their offer for international rights [USD 108.09 million] was significantly lower than that of Nimbus Singapore Pte," Dalmiya said.

He said as per the criteria laid down by the Board at the time of floating the tenders, the international rights should have gone to Nimbus (Singapore).

Dalmiya said the Cricket Association of Bengal, of which he was the president, had written to the BCCI on March 1 raising the questions, but a reply is yet to be received.

"I hear people [the powers that be in BCCI] shouting from the rooftops about transparency. This is an example of that," he said sarcastically.

"We understand that Board vice-president [Lalit] Modi himself issued clarifications during the tender process that made it clear that maximisation of revenue was the main objective and for this purpose, the bidders were asked to make optimum combinations possible," the letter by CAB joint secretary Amitabha Banerjee said.

The letter also asked whether the Board had signed an agreement with the winning bidder and whether Nimbus had deposited the requisite amount of Rs 200 crore with the board throughout the duration of the agreement.

Banerjee's letter, referred to by Dalmiya on Tuesday, also asked if concessions were allowed to Nimbus and whether it furnished rolling bank guarantees.


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