Star India’s sports arm Star Sports has acquired the broadcast and digital rights for New Zealand Cricket (NZC) including all men’s and women’s international matches being organized Indian subcontinent and South-East Asia till 2020. Previously, the rights were held by Sony Pictures Network India (SPN), and this is another instance of Star wresting away rights from other broadcasters.
According to an App Annie report cited in Business Standard, Hotstar’s subscriber base grew to 67.5 million in August 2017, representing almost 100% growth from 33 million in August last year.
Star’s Cricket rights acquisitions
Note that Star India is moving towards monopoly in the country, as it holds broadcasting rights for almost every format of the game.
In September, Star India won global digital and TV rights of Indian Premier League (IPL) for the next five years, outbidding competitors like Jio and Sony Pictures. From 2018 to 2022, Star will have exclusive broadcasting rights for the league.
Note that Star also has a deal with the ICC called “cricket’s biggest-ever global broadcast agreement” for eight years (2015 to 2023), that includes 18 ICC tournaments, including two ICC Cricket World Cups (2019 and 2023), two ICC Champions Trophy tournaments (2017 and 2021) and two ICC World Twenty20 tournaments (2016 and 2020). It also has rights to the Asia Cup from 2016 to 2023 and BCCI rights till next year.
Other cricket broadcasting rights
- Last month, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) bagged broadcasting rights of Australian cricket for the Indian subcontinent for the next six years. TEN Sports, which is now owned by Sony Pictures has the broadcasting rights of cricket boards in South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
- In August, Discovery Communications, which runs sports channel Dsport acquired the exclusive broadcast rights of ICC World XI tour of Pakistan, as its first cricket property acquisition.
DishTV raised concerns about Star’s dominance
In August, Dish TV wrote to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to prevent Star India from being the sole holder of the telecast rights of all the major cricketing events. DishTV said that the Star India holding all the cricket broadcasting rights is anticompetitive and anti-consumer. Jawahar Goel, chairman and managing director at Dish TV wrote in the letter that “Star India will exploit their monopoly status for maximising their subscription and advertisement revenue at the cost of consumers.”