International Cricket Council (ICC) to sell media rights for 2024-2031 cycle for Indian market and Men's and Women's events separately
For the first time in the history of the game, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to sell the media rights for men's and women's cricket separately.
Wow! Cricket is gaining new heights every day, every year. As we witnessed earlier this month, the Indian Premier League (IPL) was also divided into separate categories for media rights. Package A - TV rights in India, Package B - Digital rights in India, Package C - Rights of the marquee matches (including knockouts) and Package D - Rights for broadcast of matches in rest of the world.
As a result of the IPL media rights scheme, BCCI will have tremendous profit compared to the previous seasons. In much the same fashion, ICC has also decided to sell media rights separately for men’s and women’s cricket for 2024-31 cycle.
More companies and platforms means more Revenue
As simple as IPL media rights, more bids from companies and platforms for the media rights of matches will translate to more revenue for ICC. For the cycle of 2024-31, ICC has multiple mega-events lined up for men, women and U-19 cricket. Men will play 16 ICC events from 2024-31 while women are scheduled to play 12, which means ICC will conduct 28 mega-events in this period.
The ICC events from 2024-31 cycles are as follows:
2024 – ICC World T20 (Men, Women), U-19 Men's CWC
2025 – ICC Champions Trophy and World Test Championship (WTC) Final (Men), ODI World Cup (Women), U-19 Women's T20 WC
2026 – ICC World T20 (Men, Women), U-19 Men's CWC
2027 - ODI World Cup (Men) and WTC Final (Men), ICC T20 Champions Trophy (Women), U-19 Women's T20 WC
2028 – ICC World T20 (Men, Women), U-19 Men's CWC
2029 – ICC Champions Trophy and WTC Final (Men), ODI World Cup (Women), U-19 Women's T20 WC
2030- ICC World T20 (Men, Women), U-19 Men's CWC
2031 - ODI World Cup and WTC Final (Men), ICC T20 Champions Trophy (Women), U-19 Women's T20 WC
So, it becomes quite obvious that selling media rights separately for men's and women's cricket will increase the ICC revenue multifold.
The prospective partners can bid for 16 Men’s events (over eight years) and six Women’s events (over four years), totalling 362 and 103 matches respectively. These numbers account for ICC senior event matches only. Men’s and Women’s Under 19 CWC/T20WC matches will also be part of the deal but are in addition to these figures.
The ICC media release said, the "interested parties will be required to submit a bid for the first four years of men's events. However, they also have the option of bidding for an eight-year partnership.”
In case any of the packages are sold for only four years, the ICC will open another window to sell the rights for the second four-year period. There will be three packages available for the men's events (including the Under-19 events):
TV (Four/Eight years)
Digital (Four/Eight years)
TV and digital combined (Four/Eight years)
There will be similar packages available for the women's events (including the Under-19 events), except that the duration is four years for each of them:
TV (Four years)
Digital (Four years)
TV and digital combined (Four years)
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “International cricket consistently attracts huge audiences and that is driving significant interest from broadcasters for ICC events. We have more than one billion fans that passionately follow the game globally, and they will be looking forward to seeing the best players in the world competing for cricket’s most prestigious trophies.
“There has been significant growth in interest in women’s cricket over the last five years and we have made a long-term strategic commitment to accelerate that growth and unbundling the rights for our women’s events will play a huge role in that. We are looking for a broadcast partner who is excited by the role they will play in growing the women’s game and ensuring more fans than ever before can enjoy it.”
Identification of fan following
Moreover, this step might help women’s cricket to establish itself on its own. Much like men cricketers, they will also get the deserved recognition, broadcasters can identify fan following of women’s cricket in exact numbers.
As women's cricket has now started gaining fame, ICC has introduced women's cricket in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as well, which is scheduled to be held from July 28 to August 8 this year.
It could be seen as part of the evolution of women’s cricket when they will get separate broadcasters for their matches.
In the ongoing push to expand the reach of women's cricket to all the possible territories , the ICC has clearly pointed out that bidders will have the option of showcasing "their vision for cricket to the ICC, particularly for the Women's Package" when they enclose their final bids in August.
Apart from the money as a driving factor, the ICC is welcoming bidders to talk about how they will utilise their platform to promote the women's game, which could add bigger value and meaning to the deal overall. The ICC have kept the option open of not awarding the rights to the highest bidder for the women's events.
Star India won the last consolidated ICC Media Rights deal for the cycle 2015-2023.