SonySix sports and entertainment channel has replaced Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt Ltd as the official broadcaster of the cricket series between New Zealand and India that is scheduled to begin from January 19. Sony is estimated to have offered $50-60 million for the contract.
The 30-day tour starts with five One-Day Internationals followed by two Tests.
Originally, the rights for this series were part of a seven-year contract, signed last year by Neo Sports with the New Zealand Cricket Board, estimated to be around $60-70 million.
The agreement gave Neo Sports exclusive broadcast rights across Asia, excluding West Asia, for both domestic and international cricket tournaments to be played in New Zealand till 2020.
New Zealand Cricket Board is said to have has annulled the contract with Neo Sports, alleging non-payment of the first instalment that was agreed upon in February last year. The board did not respond to queries from HT . However, a senior Neo Sports executive said on condition of anonymity that the deal was called off after the New Zealand board failed to submit details of events and those related to the sharing of associated advertising revenues that were agreed upon.
It is, however, still not clear whether the cancellation involves broadcast rights only for this series or the whole contract of seven years.
“With SonySix as partners for the series, we are assured to reach out to the fans in the best manner,” David White, CEO, New Zealand Cricket Board, said in a statement.