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Star India chief fires warning about advert limit proposal

Pay-television broadcaster Star India has warned that it will seek to renegotiate its rights deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if recommendations to limit advertising during match coverage are adopted.

Earlier this month, a committee appointed by the country’s Supreme Court said that television advertising during domestic cricket coverage should be restricted to lunch and tea breaks and not allowed between overs.

Star has broadcast, online and mobile rights to Indian cricket through to 2018 and also sponsors the India national team.

Star India chief executive Uday Shankar told the Times of India newspaper that between 60 and 70 per cent of “monetising in cricket is through advertising revenue” and such changes would have an “impact… (on) the money that BCCI makes.”

He added: “If the recommendation is implemented, that revenue share will have to be dramatically revised downwards and in that case (the) BCCI will have to be prepared to live with the lower value. If the rates go down, we will renegotiate the contract [with the BCCI].”

Shankar added advertising during Star India’s coverage never infringes upon the action on the field.

“The contracts with (the) BCCI are very well detailed and the board has an eagle eye on each and every ball. Even if a single ball is eaten into, the BCCI takes it very seriously,” he added.