ESPN STAR & #BANNER1 & # Sports is now the International Cricket Council's (ICC) global media and production partner; this grants it the audiovisual rights for ICC events from late 2007 to 2015. This development was made official recently by the board and has also been confirmed by ESPN STAR's managing director, RC Venkateish.
The decision taken on Saturday, December 10, 2006, in Dubai was a unanimous one and now ICC will seek to reach a final agreement with ESPN STAR Sports.
It is learnt that the rights have cost ESPN-STAR US$1.1 billion. It is also learnt that in the first round, ESPN-STAR had bid only for broadcast rights in India. In the second round, however, it increased its bid to win the global rights.
In the first round, Zee Sports was the highest bidder with $900 million. However, in the second round, as per media reports, Zee Sports bid $850 million.
Ten Sports, in which Zee recently bought a 50 per cent stake, bid $825 million jointly with Infront Productions.
In the second round, Nimbus emerged the second highest bidder with $900 million
As per the deal, ESPN STAR Sports has got the telecast rights for 18 ICC tournaments, which includes two ICC Cricket World Cups - one in Asia in 2011 and another in Australasia in 2015. The rights also include a minimum of three ICC Champions Trophy tournaments and the first two ICC Twenty20 World Championships, to be held in South Africa in 2007 and in England in 2009. ESPN STAR Sports will also telecast the Women's Cricket World Cup, with two tournaments scheduled for 2009 in Australia and for 2013 in India, in the eight year timeframe.
According to a statement released by ICC president Percy Sonn, "The Board was unanimous in the view that the ESPN STAR Sports bid was the best and we believe all our 97 members will gain significant benefits from an agreement with ESPN STAR Sports."
ESPN STAR Sports is jointly owned by News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company. This move is being seen as significant for the development of cricket both domestically and globally.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!