Zee Group among top bidders for 7–year international cricket rights
The Zee group has emerged among the top three bidders (the others include WSG Nimbus and TWI) for seven year international cricket telecast rights to be awarded by the International Cricket Committee (ICC).
The bids range between $250 m to $450 m and cover two World Cups, four mini World Cups and two ICC championships. Among the other bidders are Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, World Tel and Media Partners Italy.
The Zee group reaches 140 million people in 25 million homes in India and another 70 million homes in 15 million homes overseas. It covers about 22-23% of cable homes on an all India basis. It recently bought out its partner Rupert Murdoch’s stake in ATL, to emerge a full-fledged broadcaster.
Zee TV has plans for offering a bouquet of channels one of which is a sports channel. The bid if successful would provide the company with Zee’s future sports channel with a content that would give it a head on advantage over the specialised sports channels such as ESPN and Star Sports.
Zee has recently placed 2% of its equity with Goldman at a rate of Rs 1000/- per share, which was to be used for funding/buying out content for its new channels. This is likely to fund Zee’s current bid.
Analysts have rated Zee TV as a buy, primarily because of the jump in revenues post the incorporation of the revenues that formed part of ATL earlier. Also the company has plans for a bouquet of channels which would all contribute to the revenue stream in the future.
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