While the ICC did not disclose a value to the deal, it said that the “incredibly competitive” process “yielded a significant uplift to the rights fee from the previous cycle continuing the impressive growth and reach of cricket.” The rights to the previous cycle, valued at approximately $2.1 billion, were won by Star, then a Fox network, but those were for eight years and for worldwide rights, rather than India alone.
The Indian market has grown exponentially since then. Winning the ICC rights is a coup for Disney Star, who recently ceded digital rights to the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament to a Viacom18 group backed by billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, which paid some $3 billion. Disney Star paid $3.01 billion for broadcast rights.
Viacom, Zee and Sony are understood to be the other bidders for the ICC rights.
“Disney Star has played an important role over the last seven years in transforming ICC games into one of the biggest sporting spectacles in India and has expanded the viewer base of the property across geographies and demographics in the country,” said K. Madhavan, country manager and president, Disney Star. “The extension of the ICC rights adds to our strong portfolio of cricket properties, which also include the television rights for IPL (2023-27), TV and digital rights to Cricket Australia (2024-31), BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] broadcast rights through the 2024 and Cricket South Africa (end of 2023-24 season), and bolsters our status as the go-to destination for the best sporting events in the country.”
ICC chair Greg Barclay said: “We are delighted to continue to partner with Disney Star as the home of ICC cricket for the next four years which has delivered an outstanding result for our members and will support our ambitious growth plans.”
“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,” Barclay added. “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.”
There are cricketing tournaments galore in the 2024-27 time frame. Women’s events include the 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh, which will next be played in England in 2026; the 2025 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in India; and the 2027 ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka.
Men’s events include the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the U.S. and West Indies, which will next be played in India and Sri Lanka in 2026; the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan; and the 2027 ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.