Star secures stranglehold over Indian cricket rights with new BCCI deal

Pay-television broadcaster Star India has today (Thursday) become the dominant player in Indian cricket broadcasting after retaining rights to all international and domestic matches played in the country.

Following an auction process that commenced on Tuesday, Star emerged victorious with a bid of Rs61.381bn (€765.1m/$943.4m) for the five-year period commencing April 1, 2018.

Star currently has the contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in India having paid Rs38.51bn for broadcast, online and mobile rights to Indian cricket from 2012 to 2018.

The new tender covered all international matches staged by the BCCI in India and domestic tournaments including the Ranji Trophy and the Irani Cup.

Three packages were offered – global television rights plus rest of the world digital rights, digital rights for the Indian subcontinent and a global consolidated package. The latter package is what Star successfully bid for.

The ESPNcricinfo website noted the new rights package encompasses a higher number of international matches across a shorter timeframe – 102 men’s international matches over the next five years, compared to 96 in the previous six-year cycle from 2012 to 2018.

The rights were assigned following an innovative e-auction process which commenced on Tuesday with three bidders in the fray – Star, media group Sony Pictures Networks India and conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited.

Today’s announcement comes after Star in September ousted Sony as the main rights-holder to the Indian Premier League after securing the global television and digital rights to the Twenty20 cricket competition.

Under an agreement with the BCCI, Star paid Rs164.375bn for all rights packages on offer across the five editions of the IPL, from 2018 to 2022.