Star, ESPN Bag BCCI Sponsorship Rights At Base Price Of $324K Per Fixture
The Board of Control for Cricket in India "awarded the title sponsorship for all domestic and international tournaments in India" for the '13-14 season to Star Private Ltd. and ESPN Software at the base price of Rs 2 crore ($324,000) per fixture, almost Rs 1.5 crore ($243,000) less than the previous deal with Airtel, according to the PTI. The new deal was inked at the BCCI's marketing committee meeting on Thursday and Board Secretary Sanjay Patel said that they were not disappointed with the reduced price considering the "turmoil in the financial market." Patel said, "The market situation is such that at one point of time we thought it will be very difficult to get the sponsorship considering the turmoil in the financial market. But we are very happy [with the price]" (PTI, 10/3). In New Delhi, Urvi Malvania wrote "the deal makes sense for the broadcasting company as it already has the broadcasting rights for all international cricket matches which will be played in India" until '19, for which it has paid Rs 38 crore ($6.2M) per match. The "lacklustre performance of the bidding process is a clear reflection of the slowdown in the economy." Apart from Star, "the only other company which showed interest was mobile phone manufacturers Micromax but they withdrew from participating in the final bid." As a result, "Star paid the base price" which was fixed at Rs 2 crore (Indian BUSINESS STANDARD, 10/3). NDTV's Soumitra Bose wrote by offering a short-term contract, the BCCI "has played it smart given the current economic climate." The Board "should be happy to rope in a sponsor" that is paying Rs 2 crore per int'l match. For STAR, it is "a double whammy." Keen to reach the masses, "the broadcast giants want to 'sweep'" sporting properties that have a massive Indian audience. It is "a win-win situation for both parties" as the BCCI and STAR strengthen their relationship at a time when market returns can be unpredictable (NDTV, 10/3).