Following the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) record-breaking profits, it was time for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) global tournaments to cash in. According to people in the know, leading bidders Disney Star purchased the rights to ICC on Saturday for around $3 billion. They kept them for the next four years (2024-27). That comes to over 6,000 crores annually. And that’s just from the lucrative Indian market; additional regions will soon be up for sale. Back in February, the IPL media rights sold for a staggering 48,390 crore, or $9,678 crore annually.

Disney Star was declared the winner after a single-round sealed bid procedure that resulted in a considerable increase in the rights price from the last cycle, according to a statement from ICC, which did not disclose the winning sum. Walt Disney’s India division outbid Viacom 18, Sony, and Zee with a bid that is more than double the $1.42 billion asking price. If the two highest offers were within 10% of one another, the second round of bidding was required per the auction’s regulations. That wasn’t necessary.

With this, Star has maintained its belief in television as the medium that provides the greatest money, despite the country’s rising use of digital platforms. They agreed to spend 23,575 crores in June to purchase the IPL’s TV rights, while Viacom 18 ended up with the league’s internet rights. They did not hesitate to win both with a large number since the ICC tender allowed for a combined offer (TV + digital).

According to K Madhavan, Country Manager & President, Disney Star, “with the purchase of the ICC Digital and TV broadcast rights, Disney Star has further enhanced its standing as the preeminent destination for big cricket events in the country.” According to ICC Chairman Greg Barclay, “This was a highly competitive process, which isn’t unexpected considering the tremendous audiences that cricket continuously draws with more than a billion fans who passionately follow the game worldwide.”

Additionally, there was a clause for an eight-year offer, but none of the broadcasters were interested. One may argue that the T20 World Cup, which India will host in 2026, makes the next four-year rights cycle not very alluring. The BCCI bilateral rights are the next item on the schedule and will be on sale in 2023. It’s anticipated that Sony-Zee would fight hard to remain in the market.

To market women’s events, ICC for the first time issued a separate tender, which was also awarded to Star. Having a broadcast and digital partner for women’s competitions in India is a big step in the direction of Barclay’s goal of accelerating the development of the women’s game.