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ICC planning to revamp sale of TV rights

The BCCI could earn more revenue if the new system comes into play

ICC Cricket Executive Committee
The new system was proposed during the recently held Executive Committee Meeting

After the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced plans to bring forward a two-tier system in Test cricket and a 13-team league system in ODI cricket, there is a possibility that the governing body could be planning to change the whole system of selling television rights, according to a report on ESPNCricinfo.

The existing system of how the TV rights are sold could be revamped after the annual conference of ICC in late June at Edinburgh. The main change sought after is to give more power to the cricketing bodies than the broadcasters to sell overseas TV rights. This could mean that the member nations could reach more markets outside their country, thus helping to get more viewers for games in what may have been previously unexplored markets.

The idea was first brought up during the ICC chief executives committee meeting that was held in April. With regard to the home market, boards will continue to sell rights and keep all the profits like it has been in the current cycle of TV rights.

However, a common pool has been proposed to sell TV rights for the overseas markets. The host nation's board will place the rights into the pool, where even other boards can also put rights of series that involve their nations. Following this, the rights from the pool will be sold as a bundle by a committee consisting of all the Full Members.

The profits from the sale of the overseas TV rights will then be distributed between all the boards that contributed to the pool in specific percentages. If a broadcaster wants to buy the rights to telecast one of the series in the common pool, the broadcaster will have to telecast all the other series in that particular pool too.

In the current system, a broadcaster can buy rights from a home board for a set of series and choose whether to telecast all of those series or only some of them. The broadcasters are allowed to sell, to other broadcasters, the overseas rights for series that they do not want to telecast.

A prime example of this was the 2015/16  New Zealand-Australia series. This series, in its entirety, was not telecast in India despite being former Kiwi skipper, Brendon McCullum's farewell series. McCullum had scored the fastest ever Test hundred during this series.

It is reported that the England Cricket Board (ECB) had put forward this proposal and currently have the backing of Cricket South Africa (CSA), Cricket Australia (CA), New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

As of now, it is unclear as to what India's governing body – the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – has in mind regarding the proposed restructuring of the TV rights market. It would seem most likely that the revenue of the cash-rich body stands to further increase with the possibility that India's home series’ could be aired in more overseas markets than what is the case now.

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