The international cricket calendar will witness a huge transformation in the next coming years as global cricket governing body – the International Cricket Council (ICC) will most likley halve the duration of its media right bids.
With the sport ready to see an expansion with more global events scheduled and additional nations expected to participate, the ICC is aiming to transform its media-rights arrangement from the new cycle, which will begin in 2024.
A report in the Times of India (TOI) has claims that instead of an eight-year bid, which the ICC has been following, the global cricket governing body could opt to halve the duration of the media right bids and sell them for four years.
If the report comes true, it would mean that the current eight-year cycle, which began in 2015 and will end in 2023, the media rights would now be available only for a period between 2023 to 2027 and then the another bid in 2027 will see the next four year period.
The report also claimed that another possible change on cards is that instead of a consolidated global bid, which has been the case for several years in the past, the ICC might sell the rights separately in territories with India being the major market to be targeted.
Currently, Star Group holds the rights as it had won the tender with a bid of US$1.98b in 2014 for the period between 2015 and 2023.
“A year ago, the ICC began working on this plan. They realized that opting to float a tender just for the India market – their biggest revenue-earner – would help them consolidate their biggest market first and then allow them the necessary time and resources to tender other global territories such as UK & Europe, Americas, African countries, Australia and New Zealand,” sources were quoted as saying by TOI.
For the ongoing cycle, ICC had awarded Star Sports the global broadcast rights for all ICC Events 2015-2023 which included exclusive live and highlights rights across all platforms for ICC major events – the ICC Cricket World Cup and its qualifiers, the ICC Women’s World Cup, the ICC World Twenty20 and its qualifiers, the ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Star Sports, the sports broadcasting network owned by 21st Century Fox through its subsidiaries STAR TV and Fox International Channels, broadcasts primarily to India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka (India and Indian Sub-Continent) with further reach into East Asia on specific channels.
Earlier, the game’s global body had announced the event calendar for the 2023-31 cycle, which is set to undergo a big change.
In the next 2023-31 cycle, the sport will witness atleast one men and women ICC event every year while the men’s World Cup and T20 World cup will be expanded to 14 and 20 teams respectively.
On the other hand, the women’s events will also see an expansion in terms of participating teams as the Women T20 World Cup will feature 10 teams rather than eight from 2029. The Women T20 World cup is set to see 12 participants from 2025.
While the Men’s Champions Trophy is set to make a comeback in the cricketing calender, a Women’s T20 Champions Trophy will be also played for the first time in 2026.