Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Sep 17, 2004
Corporate - Corporate Disputes
Industry & Economy - Radio/TV
Variety - Sports
Cricket telecast: SAB TV files intervention application
Mumbai , Sept. 16
SAB TV, a general entertainment channel, today filed an intervention application in the ESPN-Star Sports petition against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the Bombay High Court today.
Senior advocate and former Union Minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani, appeared for SAB TV basically arguing against ESPN-Star Sports.
He pointed out that ESPN-Star Sports was a joint venture of subsidiaries of two foreign firms and has not been paying taxes in India.
He also said that ESPN-Star Sports did not satisfy the consortium criteria as stated in the tender bids sought by BCCI for granting telecast rights to cricket matches to be played in India between October 2004 and September 2008.
Much of the day's proceedings were taken up by ESPN-Star Sports's counsel Mr Iqbal Chagla arguments. His arguments were centered around the eligibility criteria. According to Mr Chagla, Zee TV has not produced a single live telecast. As for ESPN-Star Sports, it takes production equipment on hire as these equipment travels all over the world. He apprised the court on the nature of production work involved in telecasting a live cricket match.
He told the court that Zee has not been involved in production work in cricket. It has got licence from a producer to show live telecast.
Mr Chagla is expected to continue arguments before the division bench comprising Mr Chief Justice D.C. Bhandari and Mr Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
Our Delhi Bureau reports: The BCCI apprehends that any delay in finalising the telecast rights could lead to the cancellation of the forthcoming cricket series with the possibility of penal action.
In an affidavit filed at the Bombay High Court, a copy of which is available with Business Line, the Board has said that as the international events are scheduled to begin from October 6, with the Australian team tour in India, according to the specific requirements of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it is mandatorily required to have the telecast and coverage of the Test and One Day matches. Failing to do so, there could be "serious international repercussions."
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