MUMBAI: Six months after retaining the Australia cricket rights,
ESPN Star Sports has renewed its multi-platform rights agreement
with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for seven years
has paid a whopping $200 million for the rights that include
domestic and international matches in England, a source in
ECB tells Indiantelevision.com. The previous five-year deal
was worth $80 million.
deal incorporates rights for television, online, mobile and
radio, covering India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
among others across Asia. The broadcast arrangement also includes
territories in North Africa.
The source says that there were other bidders in the fray
but refused to reveal their names. It is believed
that Sony Six was also in the fray for the rights.
Screen Media COO NP Singh could not be reached for comments
till the time of filing this report.
huge jump in rights fee is a reiteration of the fact that
the value of cricket rights continue to head skywards with
or without slowdown due to intense jostling among sports broadcasters
in India to have cricket in their mix as it is a key revenue
and viewership driver.
the current deal will see India visiting England twice in
2014 and 2018 as opposed to one India series in the previous
part of this agreement, ESS will broadcast more than 300 days
of live international cricket action, including 47 Test matches,
63 One Day Internationals and 15 Twenty20 games involving
teams like New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and
South Africa besides three Ashes series in 2013, 2015 and
addition, ESS will broadcast 60 days of ECB's domestic cricket
every year, including the Friends Life T20 competition, the
CB40 tournament, the LV-County Championship, as well as England
Lions, England Under 19s and England Women's cricket.
boards, caught in the midst of a challenging economic climate,
are finding India a lucrative target market for sports broadcasters.
TV audiences for cricket are also expanding rapidly in Asia
and the Middle East.
media analyst feels that the key factor for the jump in cricket
rights fee is digitisation, which will result in huge upside
in subscription revenues when it is fully implemented.
is the big white hope for the players as right now no sports
broadcaster is making any money. All deals are done with digitisation
in the back of people's minds. The hope is that broadcasters
will get their fair share of revenue pie as and when subscription
revenues start kicking in which will change the dynamics of
the business. A point to note here is that the first India
tour to England is in July 2014 by which time digitisation
is expected to be complete, a media analyst explains.
Universal COO Anamika Mehta says that while digitisation has
an impact on pricing, the fact is that there is competition
in the space and getting the rights is important.
is always good interest in an India versus England series
as there is good rivalry. Obviously the last series was bad
but there will still be interest as the ICC is also working
on growing viewer interest in Test cricket through things
like day/night matches," avers Mehta.
had earlier last year signed a five-year contract multi-platform
deal with Cricket Australia valued at Rs 11 billion to broadcast
the international cricket action from Australia including
27 test matches, 44 one-day internationals and 12 Twenty20
games starting 2012.
is slated to play four Test matches and a tri-series with
England and Australia in the 2014-15 season right before the
ICC World Cup in 2015. India will again visit Australia for
seven ODIs and two Twenty20 matches in 2015-2016.
News Corps Indian subsidiary Star India had bagged the
India cricket rights for a massive Rs 38.51 billion till 2018
which includes television, internet, radio and mobile. Multi
Screen Media with a Rs 37 billion bid was the only other contender
for the rights.
India, which doesnt have a sports channel in its bouquet,
will exploit the rights together with ESS, which is a joint
venture between Stars parent company News Corp and Walt
Disney owned ESPN.
the latest addition of ECB rights, ESS will have four marquee
cricket properties under its belt which includes the ICC media
rights till 2015. The sports network also holds the commercial
rights to Champions League T20 tournament which has been struggling
to generate enough revenues despite costing ESS a whopping
renews English cricket rights for 7 years