Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - UAE T20 League media rights sold to Zee Network for USD 120 million. The media rights have been sold for 10 years and the tournament will be telecast on Sony Sports as well.
The media rights have been sold for 10 years and the tournament will be telecast on Sony Sports as well.
The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has sold the 10-year media rights for its upcoming UAE T20 League for a staggering USD 120 million to Essel Group-owned Zee Network.
A significant aspect of the deal is that the tournament would be telecast on Sony Sports too, as the expected merger between the two major TV networks in India – Zee and Sony – is widely tipped to be completed soon. Predictably, Sony did not participate in the bidding.
Cricbuzz understands that the deal was signed just about a week back and a chief negotiator on behalf of the broadcaster was Rahul Johri, the former CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He had joined Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd last year as president – Business, South Asia.
Johri signed the deal after negotiations with Khalid Al Zarooni, chairman of the league and vice-chairman of the ECB. He did not want to comment on the pact but an Essel Group official explained the investment. “Given that most players will be internationals, it will be a highly competitive tournament,” the official said.
The fact that Zee has investments in the Middle East too, its interest in the property may have been more than its competitors. After the merger with Sony, it will have a presence in Pakistan as well, through Ten Sports. A formal comment from the ECB is awaited.
The six-team league, involving IPL franchises like Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals, besides Glazer family of Manchester United, Sydney Sixers of Australia and Dubai-based Capri Global, is scheduled to be held in February and March. The ECB will be allowing the franchises to field 10 foreigners in the playing XI.
The current price of the IPL media rights is the highest in world cricket – a whopping USD 500 million for one season – and its price is expected to appreciate further when the rights for the next cycle is sold in less than a month.
To put into perspective the USD 12 million-a-year deal with leagues elsewhere, The Hundred, launched last year, is believed to be fetching GBP 35 million for a season for the home board.
In India, shown through the digital platform FanCode late nights, its value is not very high. The PSL (Sony) and CPL (Star) value less than half a million in India and the BBL has come to Sony through a package deal.
In 2018, the CA sold the full package of its media rights to Channel Seven and Fox Sports for a combined value of AUD 1.12 billion. Channel Seven pays AUD 450 million of that.