Though the somewhat sore relationship with Cricket South Africa is speculated to be the reason for the BCCI delaying the announcement of the Indian team’s tour of South Africa this winter, it is actually the exigency to make the most of the telecast rights with the Star Group that has compelled the BCCI to host a short Test and ODI series against the West Indies in November just ahead of the away series.
After terminating the telecast rights with Nimbus Communications, the BCCI signed a six-year agreement, last August, for live telecast, internet and mobile rights with the Star Group for close to Rs. 3,851 crore. The agreement entailed a payment of Rs. 40 crore per match (Test, ODI and Twenty20).
But, sources in the BCCI said that it would receive only around Rs.32 crore till March 2014 because that was the sum agreed upon in the earlier deal with Nimbus.
“We are going to play seven ODIs and one Twenty20 match against Australia in October. This would return a sum of Rs. 256 crore. The five matches against the West Indies (two Tests and three ODIs) would augment the broadcast right revenue by another Rs. 160 crore.”
Clearly, the BCCI does not want the annual television subsidy to its full members to be cut considerably for 2013-14. The BCCI distributes 70 per cent of the media rights receipts to the full members.
Since 2008, the full members have received substantial money from the IPL too. Each association — except for Services, Railways, Universities, CCI and National Cricket Club — has received in excess of Rs.25 crore in the last five years.
“It’s impossible to think of the BCCI being forced to distribute only Rs. 180 crore (70 per cent of the telecast rights revenue from eight matches against Australia) among 25 full members for the next fiscal. That’s the reason the BCCI has decided to host five matches against the West Indies,” said a BCCI official familiar with the recent developments.
BCCI officials also said that India can play, at the most, two Test matches and three ODIs in South Africa in December.
There will be clarity on India’s proposed tour of South Africa when the BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel and CSA’s CEO Haroon Lorgat meet during the ICC Chief Executives’ meeting in Dubai on September 16 and 17.
This will be the first meeting of senior officials of the two Boards after Lorgat took charge as CEO, Cricket South Africa.