ESPN-STAR bags ICC media rights till 2015

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:ESPN-STAR Sports have won the global media rights for ICC Events from late 2007 to 2015. The unanimous decision was taken at a meeting of the ICC Board, which was chaired by President Percy Sonn, here.

While the final figure on the agreement was not disclosed, it is significantly in excess of the ICC's previous commercial deal with the Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), which was worth 550 million dollar for the years 2000 to 2007, an ICC statement said.

The new eight-year period includes 18 ICC tournaments with two World Cups -- in Asia (2011) and Australasia (2015) -- and a minimum of three ICC Champions Trophy tournaments.

Also included are the first two ICC Twenty20 World Championships, in South Africa (2007) and England (2009), the latter taking place in the ICC's centenary year.

And there are Cricket World Cup qualifiers, four ICC U-19 Cricket World Cups, and, for the first time, the Women's Cricket World Cup, with two tournaments scheduled for 2009 (Australia) and 2013 (India) in the eight-year timeframe.

Commenting on the decision to name ESPN-STAR Sports as its preferred bidder, ICC President Percy Sonn said, ''We are absolutely delighted that, after an open and transparent process, we have what we believe to be the best deal for cricket.

''All the bids we received were of a very high standard and we would like to thank the unsuccessful organisations for their submissions. However, the Board was unanimous in the view that the ESPN-STAR Sports bid was the best, and we believe all of our 97 Members will gain significant benefit from an agreement with ESPN-STAR Sports,'' he added.

ESPN-STAR Sports Managing Director Jamie Davis said, ''This acquisition affirms our commitment to the Indian sub-continent and the world and we are absolutely delighted to bring the exciting line-up of ICC Events to millions of cricket fans globally.'' ESPN-STAR Sports is jointly owned by News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company.

Members of the ICC Board stressed the significance of the decision to support ESPN-STAR Sports' bid.

the former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President and India's representative at the meeting IS Bindra, said, ''This deal is good for the game and it shows cricket is growing. That growth will increase the number of markets into which the game can be sold and that will increase cricket's value even further.''

The ICC team which met with potential media partners and sponsors and conducted negotiations to reach this point consisted of ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed, former ICC President Ehsan Mani, who acted as a consultant during negotiations, as well as ICC General Manager (Commercial) Campbell Jamieson and ICC Commercial Lawyer Richard Verow.


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