Monday, February 26, 2007

What was Lalit Modi doing in Atalya, Turkey?

Ashok Ganguly

Viewers in India might have noticed tickers in the television channel FTV India, advertising ticket sales for the recently concluded Champions Trophy. Interested parties had to visit the BCCI website ( to buy tickets. I could not make sense of this connection between two vastely different entities, FTV and the BCCI. On one unimpressive day in Chennai, December 9th, when some of us guys were taking stock of some stunning individuals on FTV, the camera pans towards the judges. Suddenly a very familiar face appears onscreen! We realised that it was Lalit Modi, the Vice President of the BCCI. Now what the hell was he doing adjudicating the Miss FTV Awards in Turkey? Soon his presence made sense. The BCCI was carrying ads on FTV remember. And also one more important issue. Mr.Modi, before his becoming the controversial public face of the BCCI, also runs/ran? Modi Entertainment Network (MEN), the company which gave us Ten Sports and FTV in India. In 2003, FTV was preparing to file a civil criminal charge against Modi and Modi enterprises.

The charge: MEN which had a distribution agreement with FTV was selling the ‘Fashion Bars’ idea to third parties without the consent of FTV. It had also accused MEN of collecting advance payments despite the fact that the agreement between them had been terminated.

Things seem to have become rosy since that situation, with Modi in Turkey on the invitation of Michel Adam, the FTV boss. How come there was no public press conference on a tie-up between FTV and BCCI? If there was a tie-up, money must have been exchanged. What happened in the intervening 3 years for Modi to be been in the good books of FTV? There are a lot of unanswered questions, which we plan to look into.

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