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Zee bid offers Rs 95 cr to boost cricket

By Rumi Dutta in Mumbai
August 17, 2004 09:15 IST
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Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms has committed an additional Rs 94.5 crore for development of Indian cricket in association with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

This is in addition to the company's bid of Rs 1,206 crore -- which eventually is turned out to be the highest one -- for the telecast rights for four years of Indian cricket, beginning in October.

"The fund will be utilised for nurturing and promoting upcoming stars in association with BCCI. There will be several programmes to spot talents at the University level," a source in Zee Telefilms said.

The bid also highlighted the company's international and domestic television coverage strategy under the brand 'Emotional Quotient.'

According to the plan mentioned in the bid, Zee Network has decided to produce live coverage of over 52 days each year of domestic cricket, possibly extending to 72 days each year.

Zee will also produce and telecast live matches of the Ranji Trophy (both one day and first class), Irani Trophy, NKP Salve Challenger Trophy, DB Deodhar Trophy and Duleep Trophy. The focus, according to the company, will also be on live coverages of select matches from Universities Cricket and under-19 cricket.

Ashish Kaul, vice president, corporate brand development, Essel Group said, "Zee intends to raise the domestic matches television coverage to a record level. We are also proposing to create a centralized marketing programme for domestic cricket."

"Our network channels will support us in licensing and merchandising, packaging and promoting the domestic game. In executing the telecasting plans, Zee Telefilms will also have the advantage of its affiliate, ASC Enterprises," Kaul added.

ASC owns and operates India's only global standard Direct-to-Home satellite platform.

This essentially means that Zee will be in a aposition to provide a bigger bouquet of channels digitally thereby increasing the reach to areas where cable is not provided.

Siti Cable, a Zee Telefilms subsidiary with a connectivity of 6 million homes, will also make it possible for any Zee channel to get instant connectivity in a significant number of cable homes, Kaul said.

Zee Telefilms owns and operates 19 television channels across a spectrum of 6 languages, with the Zee and Alpha brands. Zee is also understood to be India's largest overseas broadcaster and it owns and operates 3 channels in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, 4channels in the UK, 2 channels in Europe, 1 channel in Africa, Australia /New Zealand, 4 channels in the Middle East and 6 channels in Asia Pacific.

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