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BCCI becomes billion-dollar entity after ZEE deal for media rights

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) Indian Cricket Board's burgeoning income today crossed the magical one billion dollar mark after it sold its global media rights for ODI matches at neutral venues spread over five years to Zee Telefilms.

Zee offered 219.15 million dollars to outbid domestic matches media rights holder Nimbus who placed a bid of 200.07 million dollars, while Sahara offered 176.20 million dollars and ESPN-STAR was disqualified as its bid was below the reserved minimum.

''With today's deal, the minimum bid gaurantee of the BCCI has crossed a staggering one billion-dollar mark,'' Mr Modi, who is also Chairman of Marketing Sub-Committee of the Board, said.

The contract, which runs to an average of 8.77 million dollar per match, includes lucrative 15 India-Pakistan matches, which kicks off with the two ODIs in Abu Dhabi on April 18 and 19, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice president Lalit Modi announced at a press conference here.

Mr Modi said the contract, which would run from April 1 this year to March 31, 2011, covers television, radio and internet rights and the bidding for ground rights and title sponsorship of these matches excluding for Abu Dhabi matches will begin soon.

The ground rights for the Abu Dhabi matches had been awarded to Percept D'Mark for 3.61 million dollar, Mr Modi said, adding that the entire earnings from the first match will go to relief work for the victims of last year's earthquake in Pakistan and India, while the earnings from the second match will be shared between India and Pakistan.

The neutral venues earmarked were Dubai, Holland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kaula Lumpur, besides Abu Dhabi, he said, adding that Pakistan, Australia, West Indies and England have confirmed their willingness to play.

''Matches at Sharjah and Abu Dhabi have been finalised, Singapore has agreed to hold matches with certain terms and conditions, while we have to work out thge nitty gritty with England since it is a ICC full member though they have accepted in principle,'' Modi said.

When asked how revenue will be shared with the other boards, Modi said they have not worked out yet.

On the question of player burn-out to more matches, which was also a cause of concern, he said, ''We have taken the players into confidence while taking into the decision. These matches are meant to popularise the game in non-ICC member countries.

We want to play in places where there are large expatriates so that the fans enjoy live experience of the cricket matches.'' Punjab Cricket Association president I S Bindra, who was also present, said, ''It is not that we have been playing more cricket than the past. The amount of cricket is the same. The only difference is that the Board is directly earning revenue now.'' Mr Modi said all the matches will be official under the ICC and for India they will be included in the bilateral calendar.

He also announced that for the Abu Dhabi ODIs will be called DLF Cup series.

Pakistan Cricket Board Cricket Director of Operations Saleem Altaf, who was present as an observer along with a representative from Bangladesh Cricket Board, said that India will visit Pakistan in November next year to play three Tests and seven one-dayers and India will make return tour in 2009.


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