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Nimbus bags cricket rights for $612 m BCCI sale and sponsorship earnings total Rs 3,354 crore

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Our Bureau

Mumbai, Feb. 17

THE Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday awarded global media rights to Nimbus Communications for all international and domestic cricket owned or controlled by BCCI to be played in India over the next four years.

Nimbus Communications emerged as the highest bidder with a bid amount of $612 million.

The media rights will be from March 1, 2006, to March 31, 2010.

The total number of matches for which rights have been awarded are 23 test matches and 54-56 one day matches.

Zee Television was the next highest bidder at $513 million for global package.

With this award, BCCI's earnings from the sale of rights and sponsorship totals to Rs 3,354 crore - team sponsor: Rs 415 crore; kit sponsor Rs 215 crore and media rights Rs 2,724 crore.

The leading arm and main sponsor is Air Sahara and sponsor for team kit and apparel is Nike.

BCCI's Working Committee is expected to meet on March 21 following which the broadcaster for the England-India Test and One Day series due in March-April 2006 will be announced.

The media rights comprise television, Internet and radio rights, excluding mobile.

The coverage obtained will require all Test matches and ODIs be telecast in India, the visiting team's nation and the world over.

At the news conference, Mr Lalit Modi, Vice-President, BCCI, and Chairman Marketing Sub-Committee, said that the board consciously worked towards increasing its revenues.

"The global media rights are an integral part of the game of cricket as it brings the sport to the people,'' he said.

The tender had a minimum guarantee of $425 million and is a combination of the terrestrial, global satellite, global radio and global broadband tenders.

Nimbus in its bid had quoted $504.09 million for Indian matches and $108.09 million for international matches.

Others in the fray included ESPN-Star Sports ($401.8 million for India television only), SET Satelite Singapore PTE ($478 million global and $397 million India), Zee Telefilms Ltd, Reliance Infocomm (global broadband), Nimbus Sports ($126.18 million international) and US media companies Direct TV and Echo Star. Direct TV and Sony were disqualified. Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati did not participate in the bidding process.

Making a presentation to the media, Mr Modi said BCCI has held back some rights for future exploitation.

These include mobile telephone, archive rights after 72 hours, public exhibitions and films. Next on the anvil is pouring rights, ground sponsorship and title sponsorship.

These will be done in March. Nimbus is comfortable working with Doordarshan, Mr Harish Thawani, Nimbus chief, said when queried.

Related Stories:
Nimbus bags 4 year TV production contract from BCCI
BCCI to issue fresh marketing tender
Air Sahara wins cricket team sponsorship To shell out Rs 313.80 cr for 4-year period

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 18, 2006)
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