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Disney Star Wins TV And Digital Rights To ICC Cricket In India For Next Four Years

Courtesy of Disney

The empire has struck back.

After previously losing out on a major rights deal, Disney Star has rebounded and will have Indian cricket among its subscription offerings.

The International Cricket Council said today that Disney Star won the TV and digital rights to its men’s and women’s global events through to the end of 2027. Disney won the package in a single-round, sealed bid process. The bid was not revealed, but resulted in what the ICC termed “a significant uplift to the rights fee from the previous cycle, continuing the impressive growth and reach of cricket.”

The deal marks a comeback of sorts for Disney+ in the Indian market. Earlier this year, rival Viacom18 won the rights to stream a cricket package from the Indian Premier League, one of that country’s and the world’s top league. The deal made Viacom18 — a joint venture between Paramount and India’s Reliance Industries — increasingly powerful in the Indian media market, and put a roadblock on Disney’s hopes to reach between 230 million and 260 million Disney+ subscribers globally by 2024.

Viacom18 paid nearly $3 billion for the IPL rights. That price was an increase from the $2.5 billion that 21st Century Fox paid for the combined TV and streaming rights package in 2017. Disney took over those rights when it bought Fox in 2019.

Now, Disney has stuck back, albeit with a league of lesser stature.

K Madhavan, Country Manager & President, Disney Star, echoed that enthusiastic response. “We are delighted at being able to continue our association with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and look forward to strengthening our partnership by growing the sport of cricket in the years ahead. With the acquisition of the ICC Digital and TV broadcast rights, Disney Star has further strengthened its status as the premier destination for marquee cricket events in the country.”

Barclay added: “Having a broadcast and digital partner for women’s events in India is a significant step forward in our ambition to accelerate the growth of the women’s game. Disney Star presented impressive plans for the promotion of women’s cricket and they clearly share our vision so I’m incredibly excited by the size of the opportunity ahead.

Deadline's Bruce Haring contributed to this post.


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