Cricket’s big bucks
The numbers are impressive. On Thursday, Star India secured worldwide media rights to Indian cricket for Rs6,138 crore for a five-year period starting 2018. This is a hefty 59% jump from the previous rights cycle, starting in 2012, which was also won by Star.
Globally, of course, there are far larger deals that are currently active. In the US, the National Football League is midway through a nine-year deal that fetches it $4.5 billion a year (the Star India deal works out to $944 million). UK’s Premier League is raking in a little over $2.5 billion a year.
That said, the financial growth of the cricket world in the recent past has been on a steroid-fuelled trajectory. And within the cricket world, the Board of Control for Cricket in India reigns supreme. To put the new deal in context, before the ball-tampering scandal, Cricket Australia was looking at a pay day in the vicinity of $115 million for a five-year contract.
Which raises the question: Is this money being used effectively to fulfil the growth potential in the cricket world, as seen recently in the cricket World Cup qualifiers?