The financial constraints emerging in the wake of coronavirus pandemic has caused broadcaster Star India and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to part ways.
Star India had signed a broadcast deal with NZC for over $35 million in 2017 for three years. The deal with Star Sports had promised 18 India games (2 Tests, 8 ODIs, 8T20) during this period.
The New Zealand Cricket board was looking to renew the contract with its broadcast partner at similar rates of 2017. However, with the Indian team not touring New Zealand for the next two seasons, the talks between the two stakeholders couldn't lead to any fruition. India will next travel to New Zealand in the 2022 season, and that too for only 3 ODIs.
With the India games being reduced to only three matches, Star India seems hesitant to renew the deal as it will be financially untenable.
“Given the current market scenario and Covid-19 related business implications, Star India has refused to renew the existing deal,” an official was quoted as saying to exchange4media.
Apart from New Zealand Cricket, other cricket boards left in the lurch too
The situation is not any rosy for other cricket boards either. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are also struggling to tie up with a broadcast partner in India. CWI is without a global broadcaster for nearly seven months, and its financial balance has taken a severe hit.
While signing a broadcast deal with a foreign country board, most Indian broadcasters pay enormous amounts for the bilateral series involving India. They majorly pay for the Indian matches, and the non-Indian matches are broadcasted practically free.
An example would be the broadcast right for the England cricket team. Sony bought the media rights from England cricket board for five years (2018-22) for an undisclosed sum but the majority of its value would be for the three India tours during this period.
However, the current Future Tours Program (FTP) of ICC has cast aspersions on such deals.