72 domestic matches to be telecast live
A total of 72 matches of the 2006-07 Indian domestic season will be telecast live and marketed directly by the board, a top official has disclosed.
Nimbus, which holds the television rights for international matches played in India, will have the rights for these matches as well and they will be telecast on the same channel on which home Tests and one-day internationals are beamed.
"Seventy-two matches from tournaments including Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy and Challenger Series are going to be telecast," said Lalit Modi, marketing committee head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"We are going to market them on a centralised basis. The ground marketing (rights) will be available for these matches," Modi told IANS.
This will be the first time in the history of cricket telecast in India that matches of all major domestic tournaments will be shown live.
Earlier, only the semi-finals and finals of important tournaments used to be telecast live, and that too very irregularly.
"Nimbus got the rights and so the matches will be shown on the same channel as the main games (Tests and one-day internationals). That is the stipulation that the BCCI has and that is a very important aspect," stressed Modi, who is also a vice-president of the BCCI.
He said revenues for various state teams that take part in various tournaments would also go up now as "a large amount of revenues will be coming" from the television and ground rights.
Modi also said a national inter-city league and a Twenty20 tournament, in which each side plays 20 overs, would be launched in the 2006-07 season.
"The inter-city league will be on the lines of the Premier Football League (of England), and we will have separate television, merchandising and grounds right for that," he disclosed, and added it would not be part of the rights that Nimbus holds.
"It will probably become the single largest revenue earner for the BCCI in the years to come, if we structure it right. It will also help us drive crowds back to domestic cricket and help build more stars."
Modi, also president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), said all 27 associations of the BCCI would nominate their cities.
"Over the years, they will be in different league structures and leagues, depending on the teams. They all may not start in the first year. They will basically be day-night matches," he said.
About Twenty20, Modi said: "This tournament will also generate large amount of money for state associations to renovate and upgrade the facilities for the viewers. We will structure it (format) in the next few months and we hope to have the first series up and running April or May next year. Then it will become part of the domestic calendar.
"Every time an international team visits us, we have decided to have one or two Twenty20 matches in the series."