Star group bags Indian cricket rights for six years
Star group on Monday beat competition from Multi Screen Media ( Sony) to bag six-year broadcast and digital rights of India's international cricket matches at home and domestic events like Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and the Irani Trophy.
Star, in collaboration with ESPNCricinfo, bagged the broadcast, internet and mobile rights in India for a period of six years starting from July 2012 till March 2018.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned company's six-year contract is valued at Rs 3851 crore and will cover 96 matches in all.
It would be coughing up Rs 40 crore per match on an average much higher than the Rs 32.5 crore per match that Nimbus was paying the BCCI before its contract was terminated last year due to default in payments.
Star and Multi Screen Media (Sony) were the only two companies to make the bids but a total of five had filed the tenders.
"The BCCI is very happy with the deal. Now the media rights have been fully evaluated and fully priced with Star coming out with such a deal," BCCI president N Srinivasan told reporters while making the announcement.
The second highest bidder was Multi Screen Media (Sony), which bid Rs 3700 crore.
"Following a transparent process of verifying the eligibility of each bidder, the winner was chosen," Srinivasan said.
Star Group's India CEO Uday Shankar promised that the company would provide good telecast of the matches.
"I thank the BCCI for giving Star the broadcast rights. In collaboration with our partners ESPN, we will do a commendable job," he said.
"We have already got channels. But the option of launching a channel if number of matches demand that is always open," he added.
ESPN-Star already have the rights of all ICC events and also the rights of domestic cricket in England and Australia.
The BCCI's marketing committee had set the price for category A games at Rs 31.25 crore per match (approx $6.1 million) plus Rs 1 crore (approx $0.2 million), while category B games were set at Rs 34 crore (approx $6.67 million) plus Rs 1 crore.
The board failed in its attempt to sell the internet rights separately last year, as the initial base price of Rs 3 crore and the subsequently reduced price of Rs 2 crore found no takers.
The matter has subsequently been referred for arbitration, with the Bombay High Court ruling that Nimbus must deposit Rs 305 crore (approx $60 million) with the court as security for the amount the BCCI claims it is owed by the company.
Nimbus has also made a counter-claim of Rs 600 crore (approx $118 million) from the board.