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November 10, 2006
The Singapore-based television company, Nimbus Sports International, has paid a record US$57million for live coverage rights for all matches in Bangladesh until 2012.
Nimbus's offer beat that of its nearest rival, Zee Telefilms, by over US$23million, according to details of the bidding revealed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). "We will sign a contract with Nimbus within the next two weeks," said Mahbub Anam, the BCB general secretary. "All we need now is the government's seal of approval."
The previous contract, with ESPNStar, was worth $US11.75million for a five-year period and expired in April this year. Under the new marketing rights deal, Nimbus will telecast live all the Test and one-day matches earmarked for Bangladesh in the Future Tour Program (FTP) of the ICC.
Bangladesh's FTP begins later this month with a five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe at home. According to the FTP, Bangladesh will play at least 21-23 Test matches and 59-61 one-day matches in the next six years. Nimbus has already won the rights to telecast Indian cricket matches up to 2010. It paid $US612million to secure those rights.
Bangladesh's cricket officials have hailed the deal. "It's a great achievement for our cricket. It indicates Bangladesh cricket is on the upward move," Anam said. "We'll invest the money to build cricketing infrastructure and tournaments in the country. It will be a big fillip to our cricketing development."
Apart from telecasting international matches, the company will have to telecast a minimum 10 days of domestic matches under the deal, he added.
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