COVID-19 Impact: NZC fails to retain media deal with Star India

Star India has reportedly declined to match the value of its three-year deal as New Zealand Cricket was negotiating the contract for renewal. The development adds to the long list of cricket boards struggling to find a media rights partner due to the COVID-19 impact on the rights values.

Star Sports had acquired the NZC rights for a three-year cycle in 2017 at $35 million.

NZC was expecting at least the same value for the rights, but The Walt Disney Company-owned broadcaster reportedly declined to match that price due to the COVID-19 impact on sponsorship market, states a report by exchange4media quoting a source close to the development.

“Given the current market scenario and COVID-19 related business implications, Star India has refused to renew the existing deal,” the media news website has quoted the the source as saying.

Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket and Cricket West Indies too are battling to get broadcast partners and right value for their rights.

“The broadcasting industry is in the midst of the new tariff order from TRAI which has also hurt broadcasters’ subscription revenue. A few years ago, the Indian sports broadcasting market was very competitive with multiple players but now is left with two mainstream broadcasters, whose own outlook on monetization is very modest. There will be a substantial downward trend in media rights values across the board. Rates from earlier deals cannot be used as a benchmark to negotiate current deals, as the entire ecosystem has changed and cricket boards need to come to terms with this,” another source has reportedly told the website.

The Big Three – the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and the England and the Wales Cricket Board – are the main national cricket bodies to still hold lucrative media rights deals.

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