Package of rights includes two ICC Cricket World Cups. The undisclosed deal value is estimated to be around $2 billion.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced cricket’s biggest-ever global broadcast partnership by jointly awarding its audio-visual rights for ICC Events from 2015 to 2023 to Star India and Star Middle East.
While the final value of the rights fee agreed was not disclosed, it is estimated to be around 2 billion dollars. ICC had sold the rights for the last eight years to ESPN Star Sports for 1.2 billion dollars.
The current cycle has seen ESPN Star Sports hold the audio-visual rights until the contract expires at the end of next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Included in the new eight-year period are 18 ICC tournaments, including 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).
The decision was made by the ICC Business Corporation (IBC) Board, ICC’s commercial arm, during a meeting at the ICC headquarters in Dubai on Sunday. 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.
Commenting on the decision to name Star India and Star Middle East as its successful bidders, ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan said: “The level of investment committed by Star shows that the game is stronger than ever before and hopefully with this financial stability for the next eight years, we can implement plans to strengthen and grow the game further, making it an even bigger and better global game.”
“Star has an outstanding reputation as a sports broadcaster and has played an integral role in promoting and growing the game by taking coverage of ICC Events to a truly global and record-breaking audience, and we look forward to this continuing for another eight years,” added Srinivasan.
Giles Clarke, Chairman of IBC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee, said: “This innovative and exciting partnership will underpin the long-term financial health of the global game and provide real stability for all our Members. It will help the ICC and our Members to grow participation in areas such as the women’s game where there have been great strides made as well as supporting the emerging nations. This deal benefits all ICC Members and will allow them to improve their competitiveness and public interest in a targeted and sustainable way.”
“The partnership will also guarantee increased promotion and marketing of the game in key markets across the globe,” added Clarke.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “This agreement guarantees more money for all our Members, thereby underpinning the growth and development of the game. Star has been an excellent partner for the ICC during the current rights cycle, promoting and supporting ICC Events and cricket in general in the sub-continent, and I am pleased that we now have a chance to build on that success over the next eight years on a global level.”
Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, said: “We are delighted and honoured to extend our partnership with ICC. This is a tribute to Star’s commitment and ICC’s trust in our ability to take the great game of cricket to the next level. Star will constantly attempt to reinvent the viewer experience to make cricket bigger and bigger.”
The agreement with Star India and Star Middle East does not include host broadcast production rights, which the ICC has decided to reserve along with a host of other rights. The sales process for ICC’s reserved rights will be announced in due course.