STAR Group on Monday staved off competition from Multi-Screen Media (Sony) to secure the broadcast, internet, and mobile rights for cricket in India from July 2012 to March 2018.

The deal — valued at Rs. 3,851 crore for 96 matches — includes rights for India's international matches at home and domestic events such as Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy but does not include the IPL.

Multi-Screen Media came out with a bid of Rs. 3,700 crore.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned STAR Group will pay Rs. 40 crore on an average for each match.

This is significantly higher than the Rs. 32.5 crore that Nimbus, the previous broadcaster, had to pay for each match before its contract was terminated last year.

BCCI happy: Srinivasan

“The BCCI is very happy with the deal. Now the media rights have been fully evaluated and fully priced with STAR coming out with such a deal,” BCCI President N. Srinivasan told journalists here.

STAR Group's India CEO Uday Shankar said, “I thank the BCCI for giving STAR the broadcast rights. In collaboration with our partner ESPN, we will do a commendable job. We have already got three channels [ESPN, STAR Sports, STAR Cricket] to broadcast cricket. If required, we could explore the launch of new channels.”

ESPN-STAR Sports is already in possession of the rights to ICC tournaments and cricket in England and Australia.

Earlier, the BCCI Programme and Fixtures Committee met to decide the venues for the three international series to be played between August 2012 and March 2013.

Four new venues — Dharamshala, Pune, Rajkot, and Ranchi — will stage international matches.

Fixtures: New Zealand Series: August-September 2012: Two Tests: Hyderabad and Bengaluru; Two T20 Internationals: Visakhapatnam and Chennai.

England Series: November 2012 – January 2013: Four Tests: Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Nagpur; Two T20 Internationals: Pune and Mumbai; Five ODIs: Rajkot, Dharamshala, Ranchi, Mohali and Kochi.

Australia Series: February 2013 – March 2013: Four Tests: Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur and Mohali.

Keywords: BCCIStar India