ESPN, Nimbus, Sony bid for IPL telecast
The country’s leading sports broadcasters — ESPN, Nimbus and Sony — have made presentations to Board of Control for Cricket in India on their marketing plans for promotion of its upcoming Twenty20 Indian Premier League ahead of a tendering process for telecast rights expected to start by the month-end.
According to sources, the three broadcasters made presentations, in Jaipur two days back, on their plans on how to promote the upcoming IPL. The successful bidder will be announced by the first week of next month, the sources added.
Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt Ltd Chief Executive Shashi Kalathil said Neo Sports made a presentation to the cricket board.
Cricket is a good property for us and IPL promises to add value. The only concern that we have is how would it fit into the international cricketing calendar,” he said.
Set Max business head Sneha Rajni also confirmed that the channel made a presentation but declined to divulge its plans on promoting the new league. ESPN officials however declined to comment. A close fight between the three broadcasters is expected, with cricket becoming a hot broadcast property, especially after India’s success at the Twenty20 World Cup.
Kalathil, however, said with the international cricket calendar already congested, the broadcaster needs to know where IPL will be fitted.
Yet, if the league can take the following of the game to beyond just 11-12 players to 50-60, it could become a huge success,” he added.
Nimbus currently holds rights for both domestic and international matches to be played in India till 2010, while ESPN has rights for ICC matches from 2007-15, including two World Cups and three Champions Trophy and two Twenty20 World Cups.
IPL, which will be competing with Subash Chandra’s promoted Zee Networks breakaway Indian Cricket League, is expected to attract leading current players from cricket-playing nations.
Already 34 top players, including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid and Stephen Fleming have been signed up.
The six-team format has also attracted interests of celebrities such as Shahrukh Khan and top corporates such as Future Group, Bharti and Anil Ambani.