Big three broadcast deals compared

The six billion dollar baby

After a much-reported negotiation concluded, Cricket Australia recently announced their new media rights deal for 2018-23. That meant the last of the “big three” had finalised their new domestic broadcast contracts, and they make very interesting reading. All values are USD unless noted otherwise and are as per FX rates from 1st May.

The total? Just a tick under six billion dollars.

This is how they stack up per year/season as appropriate:

BCCI: $700m per year i.e. $3.49bn over five seasons (2018-22) (IPL $2.55bnĀ +Ā $944m for other Indian cricket)

ECB: $306m per year i.e.Ā GPB1.1bnĀ ($1.53bn) over five seasons (2020-25)

CA: $178m per year i.e.Ā AUD1.18bnĀ ($890m) over six years (but five seasons) (2018-23)

These deals are for the cricket played in their countries only. Their national teams’ fixtures and domestic T20 (or 100 ball) tournaments will make up the bulk of the value for the broadcasters.

Besides India’s recent deals, these amounts do not include the broadcast rights outside of each full member’s own country (e.g. the BBL being broadcast to the UK).

It will take a whole other piece to set out total broadcast revenue for the likes of a BCCI, CA or ECB taking all broadcast factors into account – including the revenue sharing of bilateral tours – so I will leave that for another day and just concentrate on each of the major “home” rights contracts.

In saying that though, the sharing of revenue for bilateral tours is major contributor to a country’s top line. Without getting into the nitty gritty of sharing proportions etc. what this means in reality, is when the likes of an India tour your country you stand to receive a large chunk of money as a share of the value of that series. As we have seen in the recent past, when India pulls out of a potential tour, there is normally a lot of noise that follows the decision – and this is all because of the amount of money that country would have stood to gain from India touring.

Here’s a little more detail on each country’s broadcast arrangements.

Australia

This will be the first time any home Australian cricket will be exclusively behind a paywall with men’s ODI/T20I matches on Fox Sports only. Foxtel subscribers will also be the only ones to watch the additional matches (exact schedule still TBC) added to the BBL over and above last year’s fixtures. All other matches – including more women’s cricket than ever before, will be shown on both Fox and free-to-air (FTA) network Channel Seven. After 40 years – the first time since before World Series Cricket was introduced by Kerry Packer – Channel Nine will not show any cricket played in Australia, beyond the men’s and women’s World Twenty20s in 2020. They will also show the Ashes and the World Cup – both being played in England & Wales during the 2019 northern hemisphere summer.

Fox Sports have promised a dedicated cricket channel – an Australian first – which promises a raft of new shows and concepts, and revised offerings to their digital customers.

It has not yet been confirmed who will be producing the content and whether Seven will simulcast/licence Fox footage and/or add their own production offering. Considering the recent news that both networks (plus Nine) are pursuing key commentary figures, it tells us (at least) we will get some variety across the channels for those with access to subscription television.

England & Wales

After moving 100% of all cricket onto pay TV’s Sky Sports after the historic 2015 Ashes win, the ECB’s new deal pulls some cricket back onto FTA TV with 21 matches to be shown on BBC, including men’s & women’s internationals and the new T20/100 competition. Sky Sports fought off a very keen bid from BT Sport. BT also holds the UK rights for all of Australia’s home matches from 2016-21 in a deal reported to be worth almost $110m (GBP80m).

India

In the biggest single cricket rights deal ever, Star Sports won the 2018-22 rights for the IPL for a whopping $2.55bn. With 60 matches a season, it puts it up there with one of the most valuable sporting leagues in the world – however, when compared to how many matches are played in the other properties on the list, it doesn’t really compare (yet).

The BCCI then e-auctioned all its other domestic content, netting almost another billion dollars, from Star again. This actually eclipsed the IPL deal on a per match basis ($9.26m v $8.47m)Ā  however once you consider the many more hours (and match days) of content the Indian match deal includes across ODI and Test match cricket, the IPL still wins out in terms of value by airtime.

 

ICC global funding model explainer

The first of a series of FAQ-style posts about the underlying structures of cricket’s funding, development, strategies, and other pieces that are useful in understanding what goes on behind the sport’s curtain…

A brief look at how global cricket is funded by the ICC (and where the money comes from)

The vast majority of cricket funding (outside the major nations’ own arrangements) comes from moneys distributed by the ICC. Almost US$1.8bn will be distributed over this current rights period (2015-23) to over a hundred member federations.

The majority of ICC funds are gained from their “global events” which include the Men’s & Women’s 50 over Cricket World Cups (CWC) and World Twenty20s (WT20). The Champions Trophy 2017 & 2021 was also included, but the 2021 event has now been replaced by a World Twenty20 instead.

In the majority, these funds come from two particular streams:

  • Media (TV & digital) Rights. Star Sports* (through their Indian/Middle East operations) bought the worldwide 2015-23 rights for around two billion dollars.Ā ICC approved broadcasters will then carry these events in their regions after paying a fee to Star; e.g. Sky (UK), Super Sport (Sub-Saharan Africa), Channel 9/ Fox Sports (Aus) etc. *Interestingly Star will be sold to Disney by owners Fox as part of a massive dealĀ which should complete in the next year or so. How does the value of these rights compare the deals signs some of the bigger cricket nations? Look out for another FAQ on that soon.
  • Sponsorship Properties. There is ~$700m in the ICC budget for the 2015-23 period. This includes everything from naming to major alignments such as trophy naming rights and other headline deals (they do not sell naming rights to world events any more – if we think back to the “Wills World Cup” days in 1996 etc). Major names aligned to ICC events during this period include Nissan, Emirates, Oppo, Pepsi, LG, MRF Tyres, Castrol, Reliance, Hyundai, and more..

Other non-event specific sponsorships such as the Umpires (Emirates), and equipment (Gray-Nicolls) are in addition to these global events, but will generally also carry over and into the major tournaments.

The funding distribution model has changed a lot (and numerous times) over the past few years, no more so than as a result of the “Big 3” reforms in 2014, which were more or less repealed mid last year under a raft of positive governance overhauls under Chairman, Shashank Manohar (seen above, photo: ICC). The ICC confirmed the current model in early 2018.

Manohar was first appointed Chairman in November 2015, when he was BCCI’s representative. However he resigned as BCCI President in order to take up the position as the ICC’s first independent Chairman in May 2016.

So, how much does each member receive?

Over eight years the breakdown of ICC grants to members are as follows (USD):

  • 405m (~51m pa) India
  • 139m (~17m pa) England
  • 128m (16m pa) Australia, Bangladesh, NZ, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies
  • 94m (~12m pa) Zimbabwe
  • 40m (~5m pa) Afghanistan & Ireland (became full members 2017 so this may be pro-rata from 2017-23)
  • 160m to 93 Associates – this broken up across two grant systems (tournament & scorecard)^. The complexities of Associate funding deserve their own piece (or perhaps pieces) which will follow shortly.

Dutch journalist Bertus De Jong set out the funding model changes in a tweet not long after they were ratified:

The new model totals distributions to members of $1.774bn, the rest is for ICC’s administration and cost of running its operations and events.

It must be noted that these totals are based on the current ICC income budgets for 2015-23. These will change if actual numbers (are forecast to) deviate from the budget.

^correction: the original post had “as well as the cost of running emerging tournaments such as the World Cricket League and minor (i.e. non-global) qualifying tournaments” in this section. This funding comes out of the central ICC pot, the AM allocation of 160m go direct to Associate Members in grants.

Welcome to cutsinfo.com

After years of writing blogs on (emerging/Associate) cricket for other sites as well as participating in podcasts, panels, interviews, and broadcasts, I thought it high time to have a central place where I could collect my thoughts and pieces.

Over time, I will try and collate historic content here for easy reference.

Whether it is from previous work or new pieces here, the idea will be to build up a useful reference point (as well as a big dose of insight / opinion poured in too!).

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences, as well as telling some stories that may otherwise go unknown. Associate cricket structures, and the intricacies of the funding model from the International Cricket Council remain a commonly misunderstood topic – and that’s something which I certainly look forward to filling in the blanks on!

If you have any particular topics or questions you would like covered feel free to drop me a line here or via any of the various social networks I’m on. Likewise if you have any feedback or suggestions for cutsinfo.com.

I hope this site becomes a useful resource for those interested in the continued growth of cricket, both beyond the major nations, and also into sectors of the community who haven’t had the same levels of exposure to the game as others.

Yours in cricket, Tim.