South Africa sells 8-year cricket rights for $202 mn

South Africa sells 8-year cricket rights for $202 mn

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MUMBAI: In a sign that the cricket broadcast rights market is booming and the fact that the older formats of the game are very much viable notwithstanding the rise of the Twenty20 format, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced its biggest ever commercial broadcasting deals.

It has made a record R1.5-billion ($202 million) in broadcasting deals following the sale of its exclusive media rights, of the Proteas? home matches, to Zee-controlled Taj Television and Willow TV International.

The agreements cover the South African cricket seasons, including two India tours, over an eight-year period from 2012-13 through to 2019-20.

Taj Television will cough out $180 million for the exclusive media rights covering Asia and the Middle East compared to $75 million that it had paid last time for the four-year rights, according to market estimates.

The exclusive media rights agreement with Willow covers the US, Canada and Mexico.

CSA CEO Gerald Majola noted that this was the biggest deal that CSA had ever concluded. He added that it is probably one of the biggest in the history of South African sport. "It amounts to a combined sum of around R1.5-billion and gives both Taj Television and Willow TV exclusive rights in their respective geographical regions to all home matches played by the Proteas over a period of eight years. It is once again confirmation of the high regard in which the Proteas? brand and CSA is held internationally. The contracts cover the period from the start of next season (2012) and will run through to 2020."

Majola said at a time of great global uncertainty as far the world economy is concerned, it is very exciting for CSA to note that one of its major income streams is guaranteed over a long period of time.

Sources also said that Taj Television has renewed Zimbabwe rights for eights years.

With the acquisition of these cricket rights, Taj Television has broadcast rights of five cricket boards: South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Taj Television had acquired the Cricket South Africa rights five years ago, first with a one-year deal, and then extended to another four years.

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