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Huge new deal.

STAR group bags rights to all ICC events for 8 more years

THE STAR brand's association with cricket has been growing steadily over the last couple of years, and on Sunday, it just got bigger.

Having already captured the coveted host broadcaster rights for cricket in India and become the jersey sponsor of the Indian team, the group has now extended its eight- year- old partnership with the International Cricket Council as well.

In a release, the ICC announced that STAR India and STAR Middle East, both wholly owned subsidiaries of 21st Century Fox Inc., had jointly won the audio- visual rights to all ICC events between 2015 and 2023.

The pair of companies bagged the rights from among 17 competitive bids that were received by the world body through a tender process.

The decision was made by the ICC Business Corporation ( IBC) Board, ICC's commercial arm, during a meeting at the ICC headquarters in Dubai on Sunday.

The deal does not include host broadcast production rights, which the ICC said it has " decided to reserve along with a host of other rights". Neither party was willing to disclose the final value of the rights fee, though the ICC did say the figure was " significantly in excess of the ICC's previous commercial deals". STAR's now- defunct joint venture with American sports broadcasting major ESPN, ESPNSTAR Sports, owned the rights for all ICC events from 2007- 2015, and will end with next year's ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. ESPNSTAR had paid $ 1.1 billion for these rights in 2006, and reports suggest that the new fee could touch $ 2 billion.

Over the new contract period, 18 ICC tournaments are to be held. These include two World Cups ( 2019 and 2023), two Champions Trophies ( 2017 and 2021) and two World Twenty20s ( 2016 and 2020).

According to the release, ICC chairman N. Srinivasan said: " We are delighted that our partnership with the STAR group has extended to the next cycle of ICC events.

This illustrates the strong relationship we have built in the current cycle and the value we have delivered since 2007." ICC chief executive David Richardson added: " This agreement guarantees more money for all our members, thereby underpinning the growth and development of the game." The release also quoted Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India, as saying: " We are delighted and honoured to extend our partnership with ICC. This is a tribute to STAR's commitment and ICC's trust in our ability to take the great game of cricket to the next level. STAR will constantly attempt to reinvent the viewer experience to make cricket bigger and bigger."

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Oct 13, 2014
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