The Supreme Court on Friday gave go-ahead to BCCI to commence the bidding of global telecast rights for T20 Indian Premier League (IPL) starting next month.
The BCCI floated tenders for global TV broadcast rights -along with mobile, Internet and radio - for IPL matches between 2011 and 2014 but the move has been challenged by its estranged partner World Sport Group (WSG).
BCCI is embroiled in a legal tussle with WSG that had initially bagged the global broadcast rights for countries outside the Indian sub-continent.
The apex court held, however, that the money which Board for Cricket Control of India (BCCI) would get from the bidding would be kept in an Escrow account and the sports marketing company WSG would withdraw it to fulfil its commercial agreements.
"Amount shall be kept in a separate account. You (WSG) would take as they require...balance would be there," said the bench comprising justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik.
The apex court said, however, that the bids will not be finalised pending the outcome of the dispute between the two, which began last April with IPL chairman Lalit Modi's ouster.
WSG has challenged BCCI's decision to scrap their contract last year over the alleged payment of facilitation fee of Rs 450 crore to ex-IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi.
Supreme Court's direction came over a petition filed by BCCI challenging the order of the Bombay High Court, which granted a limited stay on the tendering process after observing that the parties were still squabbling over whether to go in for arbitration.
BCCI claimed that the interim stay given by the High Court amounted to enforcing the contract with WSG, as it would have to choose between broadcasting the league matches through the WSG or not at all.
BCCI had invited bids for worldwide TV broadcast, excluding territories of the Indian sub-continent, Australia, South Africa, the Middle-East, the Caribbean, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Multi Screen Media (MSM), owner of Set Max TV channel, holds the Indian sub-continent broadcasting rights of the domestic T20 league until 2017.
BCCI had signed a deal with WSG in 2008 for USD 1 billion for the IPL broadcast rights. It was revised upwards to Rs 8,200 crore when MSM came on board.
However, in June last year, a new deal was renegotiated between the BCCI and MSM which kept WSG out of the broadcast deal. It was done after the board uncovered alleged financial irregularities in the award of contract by Modi.