BCCI salvages offshore ODIs vs. South Africa, Pakistan


Mumbai : The Indian cricket board Thursday resurrected the three-match One-Day International series against South Africa in Ireland in July by selling the telecast rights to Nimbus at $6.05 million per tie, replacing Zee TV.

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Nimbus, again replacing Zee, will also beam the one-off ODI against Pakistan at the same rate while being on the tour of England from June to September, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced here.

The scrapped deal with Zee was worth $6 million per match. It fell through as Zee sought a discount after the Indian government promulgated the Sports Broadcasting Signals Ordinance 2007, according to which all broadcasters have to share the telecast with public broadcaster Prasar Bharati's Doordarshan channel.

BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi announced at a press conference that their $612 million four-year (March 2006 to March 2010) deal with Nimbus Sport was also renegotiated at $672.79 million, with a provision of $63.47 million discount over the same period. The agreement starts with the 2007-08 domestic season.

If Prasar Bharati continues to show the international matches on Doordarshan, the BCCI will give the discount, said Modi, who is also chairman of the board's marketing committee.

The renegotiation of the ODI deal was necessitated after Zee pulled out of the contract with BCCI when not given a discount over the compulsory sharing of the live feed with Prasar Bharati.

For the same reason, the Nimbus' deal for all international matches within India was also renegotiated.

Nimbus chief Harish Thawani said that his company would pay BCCI $6.05 million per match for the four-match series against South Africa and Pakistan to be played in Ireland and Scotland, respectively.

Modi said BCCI would give Nimbus a discount of Rs.2.57 billion from the $612 million four-year contract to compensate for any loss that the company might incur if Prasar Bharati encrypted signals of any of the home match telecasts.

Nimbus acquired television rights for $612 million. The media rights comprise television, Internet and radio rights, excluding mobile.

Interestingly, Nimbus had Wednesday pulled out of its telecast rights deal with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for the Afro-Asia Cup in India in June.

Earlier Thursday, the ACC announced that ESPN-STAR Sports was awarded the rights after Nimbus pulled out following the withdrawal of top stars from the clashes between the two continents.

The series comprises three One-day Internationals between Asia and Africa besides two Twenty20 matches between the women's and men's teams of the two continents will be played June 5, a day before the Afro-Asia Cup starts in Bangalore.

Bangalore will also host the first Afro-Asia Cup ODI June 6. Chennai will stage the second and third matches June 9 and 10.