ZEE Cricket

It's more than just cricket

05 September 2004 - Zee wins BCCI telecast rights

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will award the television rights for the international and domestic cricket matches to be played in India over the next four years to Zee Network, provided certain conditions are met.

After a four-hour twenty-minute meeting of BCCI's marketing committee, that began at 11.45 a.m. here on Sunday, Board President Jagmohan Dalmiya said that Zee had been asked to make an initial payment of $20 million (Rs. 92.2 crores) within the next three days.

07 September 2004 - ESPN/STAR TV takes BCCI to court

The Bombay High Court today asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India to produce the file pertaining to the awarding of telecast rights to Zee Network for a four-year period.

A Bench consisting of the Chief Justice, D.S. Bhandari, and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, adjourned the matter to September 9 after asking for the file.

The ESPN-Star TV Network had challenged the BCCI's decision to award the rights to Zee for which a tender was floated earlier.

21 September 2004 - BCCI cancels the tender process

THE Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today told the Bombay High Court that it is cancelling the tender process for the telecast of cricket matches to be played in India between October 2004 and September 2008.

Following this submission, ESPN-Star Sports withdrew its petition against BCCI for awarding the telecast rights to Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL).

These developments appear to have temporarily scuttled ZTL's plan to enter sports broadcasting.

Mr Subhash Chandra, Chairman and Managing Director, ZTL, visibly disappointed with the proceedings in the Court, told journalists that he suspected a conspiracy between BCCI and ESPN-Star Sports.

ZTL plans to file a petition against BCCI in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. It is likely to be filed under Article 32 of the Constitution.

27 September 2004 - Zee Tele gets nod to launch sports channel

ZEE Telefilms Ltd (ZTL) has received necessary regulatory approvals to launch a sports channel, Mr Subhash Chandra, Chairman and Managing Director , said.

"We have received uplinking approvals. The test signals should be available in a day or two," Mr Chandra told shareholders of ZTL at the annual general meeting on Tuesday. The company had earlier said that its sports channel, Zee Sports, would go on air from October 2.

17 February 2006 - Nimbus wins BCCI TV rights

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.

07 March 2006 - Dalmiya raises doubt over BCCI TV rights deal

Former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya on Tuesday raised questions on the award of global media rights by the Board and alleged that it has lost Rs 81.40 crore on the deal.

Quoting tender documents and other communications from the Board to the bidders, Dalmiya said that though BCCI has awarded global media rights to Nimbus Communications for a total $ 612.18 million, if the highest bid was considered the Board should have received $ 630.27 million.

"This means the board did not receive $ 18.09 million and this converted to Indian currency works out to Rs 81.40 crore," Dalmiya said.

07 April 2006 - Zee bags BCCI global overseas marketing rights

For $219.15 million, Zee Telefilms has bagged the global overseas marketing rights for a minimum of 25 one-day matches played by India at neutral venues between April 1, 2006 and March 31, 2011.

This was announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India vice-president Lalit Modi here on Thursday.

With this, Zee has claimed all television, radio and internet rights for matches involving India in non-ICC member countries including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Holland, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

13 Novermber 2006 - Zee Telefilms takes 50-per cent stake in Ten Sports

Zee Telefilms Ltd will acquire a 50-per cent stake in the Dubai-based sports channel, Ten Sports for an enterprise value of $114 million (approximately Rs 513 crore).

Ten Sports is owned by Abdul Rahman Bukhatir's Taj Television Ltd, a part of Bukhatir Investments Ltd, and is based out of Dubai Media City in the UAE.

Ten Sports has rights to leading cricket properties like Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board. These combined with the BCCI neutral venue rights that Zee Sports has, would create the single largest cricket programming.

09 December 2006 - ICC rights go to ESPN-Star

The ICC's television rights for 2007-2015 have been sold to ESPN-Star, a joint venture between ESPN and the Rupert Murdoch-owned Star network, reportedly for a staggering "$1.1 billion", double the previous amount for the same period of time. While the ICC would not disclose the amount involved, independent sources present at the meeting in Dubai confirmed that figure to Cricinfo. The issue was decided at a meeting of the ICC Board in Dubai today and the decision was confirmed by an ICC release.

03 April 2007 - Zee announces break-away Indian Cricket League

Subhash Chandra, the owner of Zee's Essel Group, has announced a break-away cricket series called Indian Cricket League (ICL). Zee's Essel Group will invest Rs 100 crore (US$ 23 million approx) into the project, and this will run parallel to Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The ICL will have six teams with four international players in each side. At the end of the third year, there will be 16 teams in ICL. Chandra said this initiative was not in conflict with BCCI but would be complementary to them.

Chandra had a run-in with BCCI since he could not win the broadcast bids last year. Chandra has partnered with IL&FS in the venture.

05 April 2007 - Pawar -- Chandra (BCCI -- ZEE) Link

The announcement of a parallel cricket league by Subhash Chandra-led Essel group--apparently with the implicit approval of BCCI president Sharad Pawar--has split Indian cricket’s apex body vertically.

While some BCCI members were aware of the likely announcement of the Indian Cricket League as much as a week in advance, others were caught completely unawares. ICL, according to sources, has intensified the infighting within, particularly over Chandra-Pawar link, both close friends for many years.

In fact, the ICL was originally conceived in 2005 with Pawar's knowledge--when Jagmohan Dalmia was still in charge of the BCCI--but the rest of the board got to know of it only as recently as last week when Essel sent intimation of ICL to BCCI.

Important Points:

1. Pawar has good links with Chandra and IF&LS
2. Chandra (ZEE) and Bukhatir [Ten Sports] (Sharjah/Morocco cricket fame!) are business partners
3. ICC is based in Dubai - Bukhatir/Tensports connection is too obvious.

ICC and BCCI ought to have known what ZEE was cooking. Who is going to stop Zee from conducting games in Sharjah?

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