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Star TV snaps up Indian cricket rights in six-year deal

Asian pay-television broadcaster Star TV, which is owned by media conglomerate News Corporation, has acquired worldwide rights for all India national team Test, one-day international and Twenty20 matches held in the country, as well as some domestic tournaments, for six years, from 2012-13 to 2017-18.

Star TV’s deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the sport’s governing body in the Indian sub-continent, is worth Rs38.51 billion (€583 million/$770 million). It includes television, internet and mobile rights.

According to the NDTV news website, the only other serious bidder was broadcast production and manufacturing company Sony, which already has rights to the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament in a nine-year deal, from 2009 to 2017.

Star TV will pay just over Rs400 million per India match, significantly higher than the board’s asking prices of Rs322.5 million for 2012-13 to 2013-14, and Rs340 million for 2014-15 to 2017-18.

The Nimbus Communications agency, the previous rights-holder, paid an average of Rs312.5 million per match in its four-year deal, from 2010-11 to 2013-14. The board cancelled the Nimbus deal at the turn of the year after accusing the agency of failing to pay rights fees on time.

The ESPNcricinfo website said that the board was likely to keep broadcast production of the coverage in-house, but quoted an official from the governing body as saying that Star TV would have a “bigger say in editorial matters” than Nimbus did in the previous deal.