Chennai, Apr 2: The Star Group today bagged the broadcast and digital rights of India's international cricket matches at home for a period of six years after bidding a whopping Rs 3851 crore (approx USD 750 million).
The Rupert-Murdoch-owned company beat competition from Multi Screen Media (Sony) to bag rights for all international matches at home and domestic events like Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and the Irani Trophy starting from July 2012 till March 2018.
The company's six-year contract is valued at Rs 3851 crore and will cover 96 matches in all. It would be coughing up Rs 40 crore per match on an average, much higher than the Rs 32.5 crore per match that Nimbus was paying the BCCI before its contract was terminate last year due to default in payments.
Star and Multi Screen Media (Sony) were the only two companies to make the bids but a total of five had filed the tenders.
“The BCCI is very happy with the deal. Now the media rights have been fully evaluated and fully priced with Star coming out with a such a deal,” BCCI President N Srinivasan told reporters while making the announcement. The second highest bidder was Multi Screen Media (Sony), which bid Rs 3700 crore.
“Following a transparent process of verifying the eligibility of each bidder, the winner was chosen,” Srinivasan said.
Star Group's India CEO Uday Shankar promised that the company would provide good telecast of the matches. “I thank the BCCI for giving Star the broadcast rights. In collaboration with our partners ESPN, we will do a commendable job,” he said.
“We have already got channels. But the option of launching a channel, if number of matches demand that, is always open,” he added.
ESPN-Star already have the rights of all ICC events and also the rights of domestic cricket in England and Australia.
The BCCI's marketing committee had set the price for category A games at Rs 31.25 crore per match (approx USD 6.1 million) plus Rs 1 crore (approx USD 0.2 million), while category B games were set at Rs 34 crore (approx USD 6.67 million) plus Rs 1 crore.
The BCCI was forced to call for fresh tenders after it cancelled Nimbus' contract due to payment dafaults and concerns over the company's financial status. The terminated four-year deal, starting 2010, was worth Rs 2000 crores (USD 379.5 million).
The matter was subsequently referred for arbitration, with the Bombay High Court ruling that Nimbus must deposit Rs 305 crore (approx USD 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 crore (approx USD 118 million) from the board.
The Board had earlier failed in its attempt to sell the internet rights separately last year, as the initial base price of Rs 3 crore and the subsequently reduced price of Rs 2 crore found no takers.