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BW Businessworld

Star Wins Cricket Broadcast Rights

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Rupert Murdoch's Star TV has won the bid to broadcast Indian cricket for six years for a fee of around $757.6 million (Rs 3,877 crore approximately), officials said on Monday.

The rights, which include television, internet and mobile broadcasting, will be for July 2012 to March 2018 and cover all home international matches and domestic tournaments but not the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Star TV will pay about Rs 40 crore (about $7.9 million) on average for each match, compared with the Rs 32.25 crore (about $6.3 million) paid by previous rights holders Nimbus.

"This is a substantial improvement and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is very happy the media rights have been fully evaluated and now I think fully priced," BCCI president N. Srinivasan told reporters in Chennai.

"Bids were submitted by Star and Multi Screen Media (MSM) 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."

The BCCI terminated its deal with Nimbus in December, three years before it was due to expire, over payment defaults.

MSM has the broadcast rights for the annual Twenty20 IPL.

"Star India will work collaboratively with ESPN-Star Sports to exploit the rights," said Star India chief executive Uday Shankar.

"Right now we have three sports channels - Star Sports, ESPN and Star Cricket - to broadcast the cricket on. However if required we could explore the launch of new channels."

ESPN-STAR Sports is a joint venture between Walt Disney and media mogul Murdoch's News Corporation and owns the rights to International Cricket Council tournaments.