Our Bureau

New Delhi, Oct. 20

CRICKET fans will be able to watch on Doordarshan the live action from the one-day international matches (ODI) when Sri Lanka and South Africa tour India in the forthcoming weeks.

The decision to award the telecast rights to the public broadcaster was taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its Marketing Committee meeting on Thursday. The matches will, however, be produced by TWI. This was informed by Board's Senior Counsel, Mr Soli Sorabjee, to the Division Bench comprising Mr Justice M.K. Sharma and Mr Justice Sanjeev Khanna in the Delhi High Court.The ODIs will be shown on DD National and DD Sports. All India Radio will also broadcast the matches live on its network. Prasar Bharati will pay Rs 7.5 crore per match to BCCI as the rights fee.

Mr K.S. Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharati, said, "We are happy that the BCCI has given preference to the public broadcaster for telecasting of matches, as we will be able to show the matches to all those people also, who are not connected by cable TV. In fact, this should become a permanent arrangement as no one else will be able to deliver these many eyeballs and the popularity of a game directly depends upon the number of people watching it."

Senior counsel Mr Harish Salve, who appeared for Zee Telefilms, submitted that the interim arrangement was contrary to an assurance given by BCCI to the court that it would not grant any TV rights to any particular party pending the petition filed by Zee.

The court has asked BCCI to file an affidavit giving details of the decision taken by it by Saturday and posted the matter for further hearing on Monday.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 21, 2005)
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