India cricket board (BCCI) seeks world rights


India’s cricket board is set to table a bid to buy the television rights for the International Cricket Council’s global events.
The ICC’s current $550m contract expires after next year’s World Cup.

And a fresh eight-year slice to include two World Cups and three Champions Trophies is now up for sale.

BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi told The Times of India: “We are very interested in the bid. We will be aggressively pursuing the matter.”

Potential bidders were invited to Dubai, the ICC’s headquarters, in late September.

The cash-rich BCCI would expect to make a substantial profit by sub-contracting to broadcasting companies.

And with the 2011 World Cup due to be held in the subcontinent, that event would potentially be its biggest cash cow.

The seven-year deal that ends in 2007 was signed by the Global Cricket Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International.

The new period includes 18 ICC tournaments in all, and takes in two Twenty20 World Championships, plus World Cup qualifiers, under-19 World Cups, and two Women’s World Cups.

Some estimates suggest that a figure of close to $1bn (�533m) will be required to win the bidding.

ICC media manager Brian Murgatroyd told BBC Sport: “We have only sold our broadcasting rights once, and that was in 2000.

“The GCC sub-contracts to Century Television and there is nothing to stop an agency like the BCCI to sub-contract in the same way.

“There is nothing to preclude the BCCI from bidding. Good luck to them.”

The BCCI signed its own media rights contract worth $612m in February and expects revenue from all its rights deals to top $1bn over the next four years.

India’s top cricketers rival Bollywood stars for popularity in a country of approximately one billion people.

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