It’s official now. Sony Entertainment Television has bagged the exclusive cable and satellite television rights for the live telecast of ICC tournaments in the sub-continent for six years, including the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. The deal was bagged for about $255 million.
Sony beat others channels like ESPN for the telecast rights for which bids were invited by World Sports Group Nimbus.
According to SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta, it was the single largest TV licensing deal in the world. The terrestrial rights have not yet been awarded, though Doordarshan has expressed an interest. According to sources, DD will get access to all the India-played matches, semi-finals and finals.
The cable and satellite telecast rights were acquired by SET Satellite (Singapore) from Singapore-based Global Cricket Corporation and World Sport Nimbus.
According to sources, after bagging the deal, Sony may start a separate sports channel instead of diluting the brand of SET Max by airing both films and sports programmes.
SET will beam live 315 one-day cricket matches into millions of homes across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia.