The ICC 2019 World Cup, to will be played between May 30 and July 14, will feature a total of 48 matches. International Cricket Council’s global media rights partner Star Sports has taken the insurance protection for all the matches.
If India decides against playing arch foes Pakistan in wake of the prevailing tension between the two neighbours Star Sports will still have to bear heavy losses. The India-Pakistan match remains the most precious tie from the broadcast and commercial perspective. According to the ICC, there has been more demands for the tickets of the India-Pakistan match on June 16 at Manchester has invoked than the England-Australia game or the final.
India’s denial to play Pakistan will cost Star Sports an advertisement revenue loss of ₹ 100 crore to ₹ 120 crore. The existing insurance cover does not cover this loss. According to business daily, Star Sports will have to seek an additional protection cover as the present package does not include the cancellation of a game for political reason or terror strike.
Star India can only protect itself from the possible losses due to the boycott by buying other insurance policies.
There have been calls from various sections of Indian society, including former India cricketers, to boycott the Pakistan game even if India were to sacrifice two points. The outrage that started after the Pakistan-orchestrated terror attack on the CRPF convoy, resulting in martyrdom of 45 Jawans in Pulwama district of Kashmir, is escalating further amidst the prevailing tension between India and Pakistan.
While Star India may not have to pay the licence fee for one particular match, losses incurred due to boycott will have to be borne by Star India as the insurance policy, as of now, does not cover cancellation of a match due to withdrawals, ET has reported.
“New India Assurance is the lead insurer for Star India,” the paper has quoted a source as saying. “The policy is for ₹1,457 crore covering advertisement loss due to cancellation of a match.”
The policy is designed in a way that will cover cancellation due to weather conditions and teams not attending due to catastrophes, but so far, the risk of boycott is not woven into the policy. Experts said with three months to go, Star India could buy a terrorism policy to cover the risk of boycotts.
The Indian cricket board first took a policy for the Indian team in 1993. It first started taking policies for World Cup in 1996.
Over the last few years BCCI is buying a large cover for Indian Premier League, insuring the players against injuries, loss of fees for players due to injuries among others.
The key players are insured for as high as ₹10-12 crore, states the report.