Mumbai: It is a big day for the BCCI today, as they will find out just how much television companies have bid to earn exclusive rights over Indian cricket for the next four years. The bids were invited two weeks back and will be formally opened in Mumbai today. Though its no big secret as to what the rights could be worth this time, the BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya hopes to generate a thousand crores for the telecast and broadcast rights of all international matches to be played in India from September 2004 to August 2007. If Dalmiya does manage to pull this through, it would mean a four-fold increase in rights value over the last agreement. Prices over the top BCCI's five-year agreement with Prasar Bharati ends this September and was worth Rs 230 crores. Media experts however, believe that the prices for cricket rights have gone over the top. "If all the money is loaded on to advertisers, it is going to be extremely steep. In fact, in my opinion, other than for new launches or big budgets, it does not make sense. In fact, I strongly believe it will start creating that much more of a problem. Having said that, for some channels and broadcasters, it may still make sense. They get critical mass through cricket, they get revenue subscription," said Shashi Sinha, President, Lodestar. Terrestrial rights But others wonder that after shelling out hundreds of crores to acquire the rights how much value will broadcasters derive if they have to share the terrestrial rights with Doordarshan. Both Sony during the ICC World Cup and Ten Sports during the series in Pakistan had to fight with Doordarshan for a share of the limited ad pie. "If you say DD has access and social responsibility, then why only cricket? Why not other sports, and films as well?" Lokesh Sharma, MD, Twenty First Century Media. For the moment though with a slew of national and multinational companies ready to pump in big bucks into cricket for selling their products, both national and international TV channels will continue to outbid each other to bag the telecast rights for Indian cricket.
Topics : Cricket