Star bags TV rights for Indian cricket for Rs 40 crore per match

Star TV has bagged the rights to broadcast cricket matches to be held in India for the next six years, the BCCI announced on Monday.

updated: April 02, 2012 15:24 IST
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Mumbai: Star Group, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has won the rights to broadcast Indian cricket for 2012-2018. The deal, which also includes internet and mobile rights, was valued at Rs 3851 crores (approximately $750 million) for 96 matches. The other bidder was Sony, which currently owns the rights to the IPL. The matches include all international cricket in India, and domestic competitions like the Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy.

Star Group will be paying approximately Rs.40 crores (US$7.86 million) for each match, significantly more than the Rs.32.5 crores (US$6.38 million) the previous broadcaster, Nimbus, had to pay for each match.

The board was forced to issue a new tender after it terminated its contract with Nimbus in December 2011, claiming the latter had defaulted on its payments. The matter has subsequently been referred for arbitration, with the Bombay High Court ruling that Nimbus must deposit Rs 305 crores (approx US$60 million) with the court as security for the amount the BCCI claims it is owed by the company. Nimbus has also made a counter-claim of Rs 600 crores (approx US$118 million) from the board.

The production rights, which were with Nimbus so far, have been scrapped by the BCCI. ESPNcricinfo understands that the BCCI might be thinking of owning the production rights itself instead of giving it to a private party. But a board official also made it clear that Star Group will have a far greater say in editorial matters compared to Nimbus. "They (Star) will not be taking things lying down like Nimbus. They have far greater experience in broadcasting and will want to have a bigger say in editorial matters," the board official told ESPNcricinfo.

The BCCI's marketing committee set the price for category A games at Rs 31.25 crores per match (approx $6.1 million) plus Rs 1 crore (approx $0.2 million) while category B games were set at Rs 34 crores (approx $6.67 million) plus Rs 1 crore. The contract with Nimbus had a base price of Rs 31.25 crores (approx $6.1 million) per game for each of the three formats purely for the broadcast rights.

The board did attempt to sell the internet rights separately last year, but the tender found no takers at the initial base price of Rs 3 crores (approx $0.6 million) or its subsequently reduced price of Rs 2 crores (approx $0.4 million).