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Ten Sports rejects DD's $15 mn offer
March 15, 2004 20:01 IST
In a last-ditch effort to secure telecast rights for the Indo-Pak series, Prasar Bharti had raised its offer to Ten Sports to $15 million, highly placed official sources said in New Delhi on Monday.
After talks between Ten Sports officials, Prasar Bharti and the ministry of information and broadcasting failed to make headway till Saturday night, the board of directors of the state broadcaster authorised it to raise the offer from $6 million to $15 million at its meeting on Sunday.
"The board of directors of Prasar Bharti raised the offer to $15 million on Sunday. This was communicated to Ten Sports but they refused to heed to our request on telecast rights of these crucial matches even after this generous offer," sources said.
They said Ten Sports was asking for an "astronomical amount of close to $25 million for parting with these rights when it has given the same rights to PTV for a paltry $4,50,000."
Despite several attempts, Prasar Bharti CEO K S Sarma could not be reached for comments. When contacted, Ten Sports' Dubai chief Peter Hutton declined to comment on the issue.
Also, MEN's (Ten Sports' distributor) advisor R K Singh chose to remain silent.
In its deposition before the Supreme Court on Monday, Taj TV India Private Ltd said there would be no signals of Tuesday's match for entire India unless it was allowed exclusive rights to show it.
Sources also revealed that after the Dubai-based sports channel raised objections to the signal to Doordarshan being stolen in several other countries since it is free-to-air, Prasar Bharti is thinking in terms of changing the satellite on which this signal will be transmitted.
"A terrestrial signal cannot be encrypted. But we can put this signal on Insat 2 E instead of Pan Am Sat. Insat 2 E has a lesser footprint and thus chances of pilferage will be minimal," they said.
Meanwhile, after witnessing the controversy over telecast of these cricket matches on the national broadcaster, the government is expected to expedite framing of comprehensive guidelines on downlinking by foreign channels into India.
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