BCCI Likely To Wait For Zee-Sony Merger Before Selling Media Rights: Report

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Amid the ongoing trouble with the Zee-Sony merger, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may wait for it to conclude to sell the media rights for Indian cricket teams' bilateral series.

According to an Economic Times report citing industry sources, BCCI may want to wait for some time and see how the Zee-Sony merger plays out before it issues the tender for future bilateral series involving the Indian cricket team. 

It further said that it is also not certain if the BCCI will sell the rights for four years (from 2023 to 2027) or for a different tenure.

Previously, Sony used to broadcast Indian Premier League (IPL) on its channel from the first edition till 2017. Following this, Disney Star (formerly known as Star India) picked up the rights. Disney Star holds the to broadcast and stream matches on TV and on its digital platform for all ICC events. It also has the rights to the Asia Cup till this year.

Whereas, Sony Sports Network has the rights to broadcast games from England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

According to media reports, Zee Entertainment Enterprises is in talks with the creditors to repay its debt and clear the last obstacle in completing its merger with Sony Pictures Network India. 

Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, and chief executive officer, of Sony Corp, recently stated that the merger between Sony and Zee is likely to be completed by the first half of the current fiscal year ending March 31.

Back in 2018, Star Sports India had outbid Sony and Reliance to win the BCCI media rights for Rs 6,138.1 crore. The rights were won for both television and digital platforms and were for a period of 2018 to 2023.

Citing a source, the report added that the cricket board will want to ensure that the tender is issued before Asia Cup, which is scheduled for September 2023. But it will also want the Zee-Sony merger to come through before it tenders the rights.


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