ZEE Network could be walking away with all rights to the ICC cricket world cups and tournaments for the next eight years, if reports are to be believed.
According to The Economic Times ZEE Network has stumped rival bidders with an astounding $900-million bid. This is the highest compared to ESPN-STAR’s bid of $600 million (for the Indian sub-continent). Ten Sports, which teamed up with German sports Infront, has submitted a bid worth $600 million while Singapore-based Nimbus Sports has bid $160-180 million for only the international rights.
ZEE, which launched a sports channel but did not have any major cricket properties, was desperate to secure these rights. ESPN-STAR, which failed in its last attempt to get the world cup rights and the India cricket rights last year, was equally determined. But the Subhash Chandra-promoted group seems to have edged out the Walt Disney-Rupert Murdoch promoted combine in this latest battle. Many experts think that ZEE is likely to walk away with the rights given its aggressiveness.
The rights cover TV, DTH, radio and new media.
As of now, looks like ZEE could emerge as the winner for the ICC matches. Let’s hope there is less drama this time around and not a repeat performance of what we saw during the Indian cricket rights bidding.