NEW DELHI — An Indian court Wednesday ordered pubcaster Doordarshan to telecast Pakistan’s cricket tour of India, which starts next week, amid a heated battle between Zee TV and rival ESPN-Star Sports for the rights to televise the India team’s home matches.
Judge K.P. Sivasubramanian of the Chennai high court said Thursday that a final judgement would be made later on a petition filed by Zee, after it was denied the TV rights by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in September.
The board had awarded four-year rights for India’s cricket matches to Zee for a record $308 million, but canceled the deal when rival bidder ESPN-Star Sports, which is backed by Disney and News Corp., challenged it in the Mumbai high court.
Doordarshan telecast the Australian series last year and a subsequent tour by the South Africa team.
Zee’s $308 million offer was six times more than the $54 million paid by Doordarshan for the previous four years, and it dwarfed the government’s yearly sports budget of $44 million.