Read my detailed article on BCCI and Cricket Rights.
Nimbus has retained the Indian cricket telecast rights for the next four years. The current rights were due to expire in March 2010. This is the first time in the last several years where the rights have simply been retained by Nimbus, without going through a bid process. Nimbus had the right of first refusal and exercised it and the board also pegged the price reasonably.
It is also the first time over the several years, where the revenue is going down. The original deal for the last four years was $612 million. This was brought down to $549 million because of (a) Government ruling that ODIs to be shared with Doordarshan (b) Radio rights to be given to All India Radio (c) England tour cut short because of Mumbai terrorist attack.
Now, the fee is further revised down, and on current exchange rate comes to only $431 million. The reason suggested is the upcoming World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and its impact on the number of Test and ODIs India will play at home.
However, there is another important reason. It is that, the value of the ODIs have gone down tremondously. The TRP ratings have fallen. The advertisement revenue has fallen. This is the effect of T20 on cricket telecast and rights fee.
The biggest fall out will be for countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and England, when ESPN-Star Sports look out to renew their rights.
The cricket righs have reached a plateue - at least for now.
DNA report quotes an unnamed BCCI official saying that web streaming rights for Indian cricket can fetch up to $100 million. The BCCI official is foolish. This is simply not possible. The IPL web rights holder cricket.com simply vanished, after promising millions of dollars. These numbers are unsustainable.