Disney will continue to retain digital streaming rights for all ICC tournaments
The deal has received in-principle nod from the ICC; financial details not disclosed
Last week, Disney Star retained the Indian digital and TV rights for both women’s and men’s ICC events from 2024 to 2027
Disney Star on Tuesday (August 30) announced that it has licensed its television broadcasting rights for all International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s and under-19 (U-19) global events for a four year period from 2024 to 2027 to ZEE Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE).
Meanwhile, Disney Star will retain the digital streaming rights for all ICC tournaments, which it will deploy for its Disney+Hotstar platform. The two sides did not reveal the financial contours of the deal.
ZEE Entertainment said it has received in-principle nod from the ICC for the arrangement.
The deal will enable ZEE to exclusively broadcast ICC’s men’s events in the country, including the T20 World Cup scheduled for 2024 and 2026, ICC Champions Trophy slated for 2025, and the ICC cricket world cup scheduled to be held in 2027, among others.
“This is a first-of-its-kind partnership in the Indian media & entertainment landscape, and this association with Disney Star reflects our sharp, strategic vision for the sports business in India,” ZEE MD Punit Goenka said.
Echoing the sentiment, Disney Star country manager and president K Madhavan said, “By securing the IPL television broadcast rights for 2023-27 and now opting to retain only the digital rights for ICC tournaments for 2024-27, we have in place a balanced and robust cricket offering for our audiences across linear and digital.”
The development comes days after Disney Star retained the Indian digital and TV rights for both women’s and men’s ICC events from 2024 to 2027. The first-of-its kind deal in the country is likely to help Dinsey Star recoup some of the bid amount.
Interestingly, Disney Star sold the TV rights despite having a vibrant bouquet of sports channels under the ‘Star Sports’ brand name.
Battle For Supremacy In OTT Market
The deal comes at a time when both the companies are trying to fend off the challenge from a resurgent Reliance-owned Viacom18.
Viacom18 outbid Disney Star to bag the lucrative digital rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for INR 20,500 Cr for the next five seasons. Disney Star had to do with only the TV rights of the marquee tournament.
During Reliance’s AGM on Monday, its chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said that Viacom18 will invest aggressively in movie rights and original content for its OTT platform. Voot, the OTT platform of Viacom18, competes with Disney+Hotstar, SonyLIV, Amazon, Netflix, among others.
A recent report by brokerage JM Financial said that the digital rights of IPL would make its OTT platform the leader in the Indian OTT market in a few years.
Meanwhile, the completion of the proposed merger of ZEE and Sony Pictures Networks India is expected to help the combined entity take on the other OTT players. While ZEE operates OTT platform ZEE5, Sony has SonyLIV.