The ICC has gone to market with its media rights for the next eight-year cycle after radically changing the way it does this. Reflecting the changing media landscape, the ICC will first go on sale in India only from next week; it will sell the rights to events for men and women separately; and it will also sell digital rights separately.
The ICC will release an Invitation To Tender (ITT) for the Indian market on June 20 for all events and the sealed bids will be submitted on August 22. The ICC will then announce the successful bidders in early September 2022, before the ITTs are released to additional markets.
Up to six packs are up for grabs in the Indian market, with offers including TV-only, digital-only or a combination of both.
The ICC media report said that “Interested parties will have to bid for the first four years of men’s events. However, they also have the option to bid for an eight-year partnership.”
If one of the packages is sold for only four years, the ICC will open another window to sell the rights for the second four-year period.
Three packs are available for the Men’s events (including the Under-19 events):
- TV (four/eight years)
- Digital (four/eight years)
- TV and digital combined (four/eight years)
Similar packs will be available for the women’s events (including the Under-19 events), except the duration for each of them is four years:
- Television (four years)
- Digital (four years)
- TV and digital combined (four years)
“Interest in women’s cricket has grown significantly over the past five years and we’ve made a long-term strategic commitment to accelerate that growth, and the unbundling of rights to our women’s events will play a big part in that,” said ICC chief. executive Geoff Allardice said according to the release. “We are looking for a broadcast partner who is excited about the role they will play in growing the women’s game and bringing it to more fans than ever before.”
Highest bid may not win women’s rights
In its ongoing drive to expand the reach of women’s cricket worldwide, the ICC has pointed out that bidders will have the opportunity to “present their views on cricket to the ICC, particularly for the women’s package” when they submit their final bids in a sealed envelope in August.
Essentially, for the next cycle, instead of having money as the only filter, the ICC welcomes bidders to talk about how they will use their platform to promote the women’s game, which could add more value and meaning to the deal in in general. The ICC has kept open the option not to award the rights to the highest bidder for the women’s events.
In the past, the rights to women’s global tournaments were sold as an adjunct to men’s events, which the ICC believes devalued the women’s game.
Star India had won the last consolidated ICC rights deal (2015-2023). While the ICC has not disclosed the value of the deal, ESPNcricinfo understands that it was close to $1.9 billion.