Disney Star extends run with ICC’s India media rights for 4 more years

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Mumbai: Disney Star has retained the India media rights — TV and digital — for both the men’s and women’s events run by the International Cricket Council (ICC), including the World Cup and T20 World Cup, for a further four years. ET has learnt that the deal was bagged for $2.8-3 billion for rights till 2027. Neither ICC nor the broadcaster disclosed the winning amount.

The last eight-year rights cycle (2015-2023) cost Star Sports $2.02 billion for the global rights of ICC tournaments.

The ICC announced Disney Star as the winner following a board meeting on Saturday.

“Disney Star won following a single-round sealed bid process, which has yielded a significant uplift to the rights fee from the previous cycle, continuing the impressive growth and reach of cricket,” the ICC said. “The decision followed a robust tender, bidding and evaluation process, started in June 2022.”

Incidentally, there were only four bidders for the India rights, including Viacom18, Sony Pictures Networks India and

.

Agencies

“We are delighted to continue to partner with Disney Star as the home of ICC cricket for the next four years, which has delivered an outstanding result for our members and will support our ambitious growth plans,” said Greg Barclay, chair, ICC. “They will play a crucial role in the future of our sport and connecting and engaging with more fans than ever before.”

On Friday, financial bids were submitted to ICC, following which bidders were informed that there was a clear winner, and that the second round of e-auction was not required.


No Second Round Required: ICC


“We are delighted to be able to continue our association with the ICC and look forward to strengthening our partnership by growing the sport of cricket in the years ahead,” said K Madhavan, country manager and president, Disney Star. “With the acquisition of the ICC digital and TV broadcast rights, Disney Star has further strengthened its status as the premier destination for marquee cricket events in the country.”

In a separate statement, Madhavan said Disney Star had played an important role over the last seven years in transforming ICC games into one of the biggest sporting spectacles in India, and has expanded the viewer base of the property across geographies and demographics.

“Extension of the ICC rights adds to our strong portfolio of cricket properties which also include the television rights for IPL (2023-27), TV and digital rights to Cricket Australia (2024-31), BCCI broadcast rights through 2024, and Cricket South Africa (end of 2023-24 season). In addition to cricket, we also offer Pro Kabbadi League, Indian Super League and various international rights, including the Wimbledon Championships and the English Premier League,” he said.



Multiplier Formula

The world cricket governing body previously disclosed the benchmark price and conditions for e-auction after broadcasters boycotted the mock auctions.

“All four bidders were given slots to come and make their presentations first, followed by all four of us submitting financial bids,” said a top executive from a sports broadcaster. “ICC later tabulated and informed all of us that they had a clear winner and there was no need for a second round. However, they said the name of the winner will only be announced after the board approves the recommendations.”

ICC had sought bids for four-year rights. Bidders were also allowed to bid for eight years, but the multiplier formula that ICC disclosed later was 2.8x of four years, which made them rethink, one broadcaster said. “Nobody knows where TV will be in eight years, so 2.8x was a big number to commit to. ICC would have gotten more interest for a six-year term if it was on the cards,” another broadcaster added.

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