WTC Final: ICC offers the global media rights of WTC finals, Star to broadcast in the Indian subcontinent: The watch-dog of international cricket, International Cricket Council (ICC) has offered to sell the media/broadcasting rights of the World Test Championship Finals scheduled to take place from June 18-22 between India and New Zealand in Southampton, UK. Although Star India is ICC’s official media rights partner, the Indian broadcaster has curtailed its role to the Indian subcontinent only due to monetary benefits.
The decision from Star India comes in light of a stated clause in its agreement with ICC, owing to which Star India will program the WTC Final in the Indian sub-continent only, which arguably has the most ravenous appetite for the game of cricket.
“It made sense for Star not to worry about selling the rights of the one-off match in none-too major cricket markets where their team is not playing. Apart from India, Star will have the rights in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, the biggest markets in world cricket,” mentioned a person involved in the contract.
Star’s decision has thrown ICC in a predicament of selling the rights of the first-ever World Test Championship (WTC) Final-mainly England, Australia, and South Africa. The potential media buyers in these countries are- Channel Nine and Fox in Australia, Sky in the UK, and SuperSport and SABC in South Africa, which will be marked on ICC’s arrow. ICC will be keen to sell the rights for wider coverage of the game so that none of the cricket-watching nations is left out of the schemes.
But the monetary aspect of the game will possess a big stymie in front of ICC as selling the rights for only a single Test match in the age of T20 cricket, is in itself a huge challenge. Moreover, the broadcasters also have their own sets of problems. In a T20 match, where a 10-second slot for an advertisement for Rs 5 lakh, the cost in a Test for the 10 seconds slots plummets drastically to about Rs 50,000. With this keeping in mind, ICC has a task on its head before the WTC Finals.