Star retains hold on ICC’s global rights

The International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body, has awarded its global media rights to its major events for eight years, from 2015 to 2023, by signing its “biggest-ever” partnership with pay-television broadcasters Star India and Star Middle East – both subsidiaries of media company 21st Century Fox.

The decision was made by the ICC Business Corporation Board, the governing body’s commercial arm, during a meeting at the ICC headquarters in Dubai on Sunday.

The award of the rights followed a tender, bidding and evaluation process, which started in July. During the process, which involved two rounds of bidding, the ICC said that it received 17 “competitive” bids from various broadcasters across different territories for its rights.

While the final value of the rights fee was not disclosed, the ICC said it is “significantly in excess” of its previous commercial deals. The ICC earned $1.1bn (€797m) for its global media rights in the current eight-year period from 2007 to 2015 in a deal with pan-Asian broadcaster ESPN Star Sports.

The next eight-year cycle commences after the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. It features two editions apiece of the organisation’s flagship World Cup, World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy tournaments, along with qualifying events for the former two events.

India, the sport’s most lucrative market, will host the 2016 World T20, 2021 Champions Trophy and 2023 World Cup. England takes the Champions Trophy and World Cup in 2017 and 2019 respectively before the 2020 World T20 heads to Australia, offering further valuable representation of cricket’s core markets.

Two editions of the Women’s World Cup and Women’s World T20 are also included alongside four Under-19 World Cups. In total 18 ICC tournaments are included in Star India and Star Middle East’s new contract.

ICC chairman N. Srinivasan said: “This illustrates the strong relationship we have built in the current cycle and the value we have delivered since 2007. This commitment for the next eight years will ensure greater stability for ICC members as well as increased funding for developing and established countries. Emerging nations will have access to the largest funding resource in the history of the game and the board has fully endorsed this framework as the best means of safeguarding the future of the sport.”