Murdoch’s Star TV secures rights for India cricket matches

Star TV, an Asian TV broadcaster, has revealed they have secured crucial broadcast rights for India cricket matches in a six-year deal.

Star TV, who are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, are split into four units with STAR India, STAR Greater China, STAR Select and Fox International Channels Asia making up the structure.

The rights include all India national team Test, one-day international and Twenty20 matches held in the country and some domestic tournaments are also included in the package, which starts immediately and will run until 2018. The deal is reported to be worth Rs38.51 billion (US$770 million), or just over Rs400 million per match – a significant increase on the previous deal with Nimbus, which was worth Rs312.5 million per fixture but was cancelled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) earlier this year due to a dispute over rights fee payments.

Despite reports of at least five interested parties, Sony, the current Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket competition rights-holder, was the only other serious bidder, under the name of its Multi Screen Media brand.

“This is a substantial improvement and the BCCI is very happy the media rights have been fully evaluated and now I think fully priced,” BCCI president N. Srinivasan told reporters, according to Reuters. “Bids were submitted by Star and Multi Screen Media and after following a transparent process of verifying the eligibility of each bidder, bids were opened in front of both the parties and the winner chosen.”

Star India CEO Uday Shankar added: “Star India will work collaboratively with ESPN Star Sports to exploit the rights. Right now we have three sports channels – (ESPN) Star Sports, ESPN and Star Cricket – to broadcast the cricket on. However if required we could explore the launch of new channels.”

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