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June 6, 2002 | 1303 IST
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Soccer-hit Doordarshan eyes ICC world cup rights

Bipin Chandran

After the recent setback it received in bagging the terrestrial broadcasting rights of the football world cup, Doordarshan is charting out a strategy well in advance to bag the terrestrial right of the ICC Cricket Worldcup 2003 to be held in South Africa.

The board of Prasar Bharati is meeting on Thursday to finalise the strategy of the state broadcaster in acquiring the terrestrial broadcasting rights of the ICC World Cup matches.

"The board will give shape to the strategy that Doordarshan will have to take to bag the rights for the terrestrial rights for the ICC World Cup in India," a Prasar Bharati official said.

The meeting will also give shape to Doordarshan's negotiations with World Sports Group Nimbus which has the world wide telecast rights of the ICC matches for the next six years including the next two worldcup matches.

According to Prasar Bharati sources, some options before the board includes entering into a revenue-sharing agreement with Sony or work on a license agreement wherein Doordarshan pays a fixed fee for the matches it airs. Doordarshan wants to make sure that set back it had with football worldcup does not repeat this time.

"Despite repeated attempts Doordarshan could not manage the football world cup match telecast. We want our strategy to be in place well in advance," the official said.

Sony Entertainment TV has the cable and satellite rights for airing ICC organised matches for the next six years.

The cricket matches will be aired on SET Max channel where the programming is a mix of Hindi films and cricket.

The rights will allow Sony to beam over 300 days of international cricket including coverage of leading ICC championships. Sony beat others such as ESPN for the cricket telecast rights for which bids were invited by WSG Nimbus some time back.

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