The Board of Control for Cricket in India has accepted a request from broadcast rights-holder, pay-television broadcaster Star India, to open up its archives amid the lack of live action due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Star will now have access to archive footage of some historic moments in Indian cricket, reports the Times of India. The newspaper noted that the BCCI usually charges “top dollar” for its archive rights, but has made a one-off exception for Star given its importance as a commercial partner.
The move follows similar steps taken by the International Cricket Council, which last month became the latest sports body to open up its archive of match footage and programming to its broadcast rights-holders.
Twenty20 cricket competition the Caribbean Premier League has also engaged in a venture with cloud-based video production, editing and distribution company, Grabyo. The CPL is broadcasting matches from the last seven years of the tournament via its Facebook and YouTube channels but with new commentary.
In April 2018, Star became the dominant player in Indian cricket broadcasting after retaining rights to all international and domestic matches played in the country. Following an auction process, Star emerged victorious with a bid of Rs61.38bn (€746.9m/$812.2m) for the five-year period commencing April 1, 2018.
Star previously paid Rs38.51bn for broadcast, online and mobile rights to Indian cricket from 2012 to 2018. The 2018 tender covered all international matches staged by the BCCI in India and domestic tournaments including the Ranji Trophy and the Irani Cup.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that the BCCI has informed Star that it will invoke the ‘force majeure’ clause in its contract should there be a suspension or cancellation of this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League.
The BCCI last month decided to suspend IPL 2020 until April 15. Heading towards this date, the fate of this year’s edition of the lucrative league remains uncertain.