Big Boys play with millions | india | Hindustan Times
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Big Boys play with millions

THE GREATEST story ever told in Indian sport might be about the greatest amount ever sold. Such is the magnitude of what transpired on Friday. The BCCI awarded the Global Media Rights for all international and domestic cricket matches controlled by it to Nimbus Communications for a whopping $612 million. The deal, which stands for four years, beginning March 1, 2006, also catapulted the Indian Board into the higher echelons of sports television deals.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 01:42 IST

THE GREATEST story ever told in Indian sport might be about the greatest amount ever sold. Such is the magnitude of what transpired on Friday.

The BCCI awarded the Global Media Rights for all international and domestic cricket matches controlled by it to Nimbus Communications for a whopping $612 million. The deal, which stands for four years, beginning March 1, 2006, also catapulted the Indian Board into the higher echelons of sports television deals.

While the NBA's six-year TV deal with ABC/ESPN ($2.4 billion) probably stands alone at the top, the BCCI hasn't done too badly compared to everything else.

And, more importantly, with this deal, the BCCI's total income from the sale of rights and sponsorship so far amounts to (God knows what will be sold next) --- hold your breath — $754 million! Earlier, Air Sahara had bagged the Indian team's sponsorship deal for $70 mn and Nike had shelled out $47 mn to kit out the Indian team. Interestingly, cricket's governing body, the ICC, had struck a four-year deal with the Global Cricket Corporation (between the 2003 and 2007 World Cups) for the marketing of all ICC events for $550m, which when struck in 2000, seemed far too much.

The present deal has made the world's richest cricket board's revenue escalate ten-fold from that of the previous four-years (an estimated $77 million).

Justifying the high price the BCCI rights have attracted, Chairman of Nimbus Harish Thawani said, “The Indian team's performance and the prospects of the young side has increased the value of these rights.” Good for Nimbus. But what about the BCCI? Why is there little or no talk of how much of this or the earlier earnings will go into development of cricket?Inputs from Mumbai