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Disney Star on Tuesday signed a licensing agreement with Zee, allowing the latter to broadcast all ICC men’s and U-19 events for the 2024-2027 cycle. The digital rights for ICC events remain with Disney Star. The current ICC rights holders had made the winning bid of around USD 3 billion to secure the rights for Indian market last week. The deal will enable Zee to broadcast ICC men’s events, including the 2024 and 2026 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 2025 Champions Trophy and the ODI World Cup in 2027. The two media companies will also get to share the financial burden under this agreement.
“This is a first-of-its-kind partnership in the Indian media & entertainment landscape, and this association with Disney Star reflects our sharp, strategic vision for the sports business India. “As a one-stop television destination for ICC men’s cricket events until 2027, ZEE will leverage the strength of its network to offer a compelling experience for its viewers and a great return on investment for its advertisers,” said Zee MD and CEO Punit Goenka in a statement.
Disney Star president K Madhavan added: “By securing the IPL television broadcast rights for 2023-27 and now opting to retain only the digital rights for ICC tournaments for 2024-27, we have in place a balanced and robust cricket offering for our audiences across linear and digital.
“Over the years, Disney Star has strengthened the appeal of international cricket in India, enabling it to reach diverse age groups and cultural demographics across all parts of the country. As India’s leading media house, we will continue to do so with our strong portfolio of cricket properties across television and digital.” Disney Star had emerged winners at the bidding table last week after staving off a strong challenge from Viacom 18, Sony Sports and Zee.
The company won following a single round sealed bid process which yielded a significant uplift to the rights fee from the previous cycle continuing the impressive growth and reach of cricket, the ICC had said.
The decision followed a robust tender, bidding and evaluation process, which started in June.
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