BCB sells broadcast rights for West Indies series
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has sold the worldwide broadcasting rights for the home series against West Indies to Virgo Media Ltd.
The outgoing BCB president Mustafa Kamal said Virgo, the owners of Channel 9 in Bangladesh, will produce the matches. "Channel 9 will handle the production and the board will be paid $50,000 dollars for the sale of the rights," Kamal said. "We received a few other offers but this seemed like the most profitable deal."
Channel 9 is the official broadcaster of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). A source at the TV station said they would have to sell it to a foreign-based sports channel to make the deal profitable, as they had done for the first edition of the BPL earlier this year.
Kamal also said the BCB would launch another tender following the West Indies series in order to sell its worldwide media rights for the long term. The board has been without an official broadcaster after its deal with Nimbus concluded in March this year.
BCB had, in August, floated the tender for a TV deal from November 1, 2012, to April 30, 2016, after a committee headed by vice-president Ahmed Sajjadul Alam prepared a guideline for the new deal. A last date for buying the tender was set for August 31, but since only two companies showed interest, the deadline was first extended to September 12, and then to September 14, and amendments were made to the initial clauses in the tender. It still drew a lukewarm response. Last month, the BCB had to turn the long-term offer into a short-term one just for the West Indies series after Virgo Media did not raise their offering of $6 million, though the board had asked for at least $15 million.
The prerequisites for prospective bidders were modified for the broadcasting and media rights. After it was understood by the BCB that companies with less experience wanted to apply, the new requirement stipulated a tender would be acceptable only if either the marketing agent or the broadcaster had five years' experience in the related field. Earlier all three components of the media rights - production, broadcasting and marketing - were required to have five years of experience in cricket coverage. A $2.5 million bank guarantee was also made a key part of the deal, but the board is likely to revise the stipulations.
West Indies are scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on November 5 to play two Tests, five ODIs and one Twenty. The second Test and the first two ODIs are expected to take place in Khulna, while the rest of the games will take place in Dhaka.