‘Could be tough to match IPL returns as deal has 40 percent Tests’
Star India Pvt Ltd on Thursday won the global television and digital media rights for all cricket played in India in the next five years for Rs 6,138.1 crore, outbidding Sony Pictures Networks India and Reliance Jio Infocomm in the deal that runs till March 2023.
Star India won the global consolidated bid for all international and domestic cricket matches to be played in India to retain the rights it won in 2012.
“We are the biggest creators of content in Indian languages and we believe it is only natural for us to be the destination of the biggest Indian sport. Having IPL and BCCI both gives us that special position,” said Uday Shankar, chairman, Star India.
This effectively establishes Star India’s monopoly in Indian cricket.
“This is a considered bet. Star is now home for cricket. They have cornered the market. Star’s actions demonstrate they have faith in the Indian market and in the popularity of cricket. They have faith that the sports broadcast market is growing in terms of advertising, subscription and digital revenue,” said Sameer Nair, media veteran and chief executive of Aditya Birla Group’s production firm, Applause Entertainment.
Star India will effectively pay Rs 60.1 crore per match through the current deal with BCCI compared to Rs 54.4 crore per match for IPL.
“It will be harder to get returns on this compared to the IPL deal simply because in theory every IPL match is considered to be interesting while BCCI matches include 40% of Test matches. But Star’s is probably best described as blocking of shelves, where you don’t allow anybody else to exist,” said Harish Krishnamachar, co-founder, Sportoid, a sports consultancy firm.
In less than nine months the company has spent Rs 22,485.6 crore on cricket rights.
Star India operates 12 sports channels and streaming platform Hotstar.
In 2012, Star India spent Rs 3851 crore for the same broadcast and digital rights for five years. The rights covers at least 102 matches by the men’s team, women’s internationals and domestic fixtures like Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup.