Rupert Murdoch’s Star group have bagged the broadcast rights for International Cricket Council (ICC) events to be held during an eight-year cycle after next year’s World Cup, the governing body said on Sunday.
Star India and Star Middle East were jointly awarded audio-visual rights for events organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the parent body of world cricket, for a eight-year period between 2015 and 2023, during which two cricket World Cups and two World Twenty20 events are to be held.
Star India and Star Middle East bagged the rights on Sunday for the events which drew 17 competitive bids from rival broadcasters.
“The decision followed a robust tender, bidding and evaluation process, which started in July 2014. During the process, which involved two rounds of bidding, the ICC received 17 competitive bids from various broadcasters across different territories for its audio-visual rights,” according to an ICC statement. ICC did not disclose the value of the rights fee.
ESPN Star Sports currently hold the audio-visual rights until the contract expires at the end of next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The new eight-year deal includes two ICC Cricket World Cups (2019 and 2023), two ICC Champions Trophy tournaments (2017 and 2021) and two ICC World Twenty20 tournaments (2016 and 2020).
“We are delighted that our partnership with the Star group has extended to the next cycle of ICC Events,” ICC chairman N. Srinivasan said. “This commitment for the next eight years will ensure greater stability for ICC members as well as increased funding for developing and established countries.
” Media buyers say Star India’s aggressive bid was an inevitable move, given the commitment to sports of Rupert Murdoch’s Star India Pvt. Ltd.
“Star has been making a very strong push into sports including cricket for the last two years and this augurs well for all sports in India. Star must be complemented for trying to make India a sporting nation. Beyond doubt, with this partnership, Star will be the overarching force for cricket in India except for the Indian Premier League (T20 cricket tournament) which belongs to Sony for now. But I’m sure Star will have its eyes on it once the bids open up,” said Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director of Madison World.
The broadcast rights for IPL have been awarded to Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd that operates the Sony network of channels, for a period of 10 years through 2017.
Currently, Star India also has the broadcast and digital rights for all cricket played in India through a deal with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for which it agreed to pay Rs.3,851 crore in 2012. The deal gave it exclusive media rights to cricket matches organized by BCCI until 2018. The rights cover all international cricket matches played in India and domestic tournaments,, including the Ranji Trophy and the Irani Cup. In all, Star has the exclusive rights for 96 matches, including updates on the Internet and mobile phones.
With the ICC partnership, Star India will get another opportunity to integrate a host of these sporting events across digital platforms beyond television.