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BCCI announces TV rights tender for India cricket

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is searching for a new broadcast partner to televise India's international cricket matches for the next six years, with base terms set at those agreed by the previous rights incumbent Nimbus Communications until April 2014.

Nimbus, whose four-year contract was terminated prematurely in December 2011 after it defaulted on BCCI payments, had agreed a rate of INR 31.25 crore for the broadcasting rights of each Test, one day international, and twenty20 match played in India.

The new tender rates outlined by the BCCI on 7 March are split into two periods. The base price remains the same for all matches until the end of March 2014, which was the duration of the board's now cancelled contract with Nimbus. INR 1 crore of this covers internet and mobile TV distribution rights.

Then, from 2014-2018, the base price for each international match rises to INR 34 core, including INR 1 crore for internet and mobile rights – equating to a 5.42% rise in the base price.

Broadcasters will reportedly be able to bid for BCCI hosted matches from either 2012 until 31 March 2014, or from 2012 straight through to 2018.

"The difficulties and deficiencies in the previous tender were looked into and rectified, and care has been taken that those are not repeated in the new tender," Farooq Abdullah Abdullah, chairman, BCCI marketing committee told reporters.

The tender document will cost INR 5 lakh, and will be issued globally, said the BCCI.

The tender will run from 10-26 March at the BCCI headquarters at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The committee will then meet in Chennai on 2 April to open the received bids.

The new tender coincides with a fall in form from India's national team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and the resultant drop in television viewing figures for India's recent tours of England and Australia.

The BCCI remains confident, however, that the tender will attract a range of bidders for what remains India's most watched sport on TV.

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