Revamping cricket: ICC mulls overhaul in sale of TV rights

After suggesting revolutionary changes to the structure of cricket such as the introduction of the two-tier system for Test cricket and the 13-team ODI league, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is currently planning a major overhaul in the way television rights are sold for tournaments.

According to a report on ESPNCricinfo, the global governing body is planning to give the cricket boards a greater say in the way the TV rights are sold rather than the broadcasters. This development will be of great help to some of the more financially deprived boards.

In the current system, a board sells its rights to a broadcaster for it's home audience, following which the broadcaster then decides whether to sell it to its counterparts in the overseas market or not. The board's profit ends in its sale to its local broadcaster.

 Revamping cricket: ICC mulls overhaul in sale of TV rights

Newly elected ICC chairman Shanshank Manohar. Getty

In the new system however, the board will not only retain it's right to sell the TV rights for its home audience, but will be directly involved in selling it to overseas audiences. The new system will allow the boards to place the rights for their series in a common pool that will also contain the rights of other tournaments involving their teams.

The profits collected from the common pool, as mentioned further in the report, will then be distributed to the contributing boards in specific percentages. The move will be similar to the way the ICC sells the rights for its own events.

The proposal, the idea of which was first conceived at an ICC chief executives meeting back in April, is expected to help spread the sport in untapped but lucrative markets such as the United States. The fate of the proposal is expected to be unveiled in the ICC annual conference that is to take place in Edinburgh later this month.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was the reportedly the first to come up with the idea, and the group lobbying for the change currently consists of Cricket South Africa (CSA), Cricket Australia (CA), New Zealand Cricket (NZC) as well as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been informed of the proposal, it is yet to take a stance on the same, which could be crucial for the proposal's existence.

"The members are currently discussing how they might best exploit their commercial rights. These are not ICC rights that they are thinking of selling.

"There are no new competitions yet, and no commercial models have been developed by the members yet," a source was quoted as saying according to a report on Cricbuzz.

The current system has seen certain markets missing out on cricketing action in other parts of the world due to the home broadcasters not selling the rights to their foreign counterparts. For example, Indian viewers have not been able to watch matches from New Zealand's summer of cricket in the last couple of years, including Australia's tour of New Zealand earlier this year which was Black Caps legend Brendon McCullum's farewell series.

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Updated Date: Jun 20, 2016 15:14:55 IST