Viacom18, a prominent media conglomerate, has recently acquired exclusive rights for broadcasting India’s international cricket matches. However, this accomplishment comes with the added responsibility of showcasing between 70 and 140 days of domestic cricket, a requirement mandated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). A noteworthy change in the conditions is the broadcaster’s obligation to air between 70 and 160 days of domestic cricket on their digital platform.
The media rights tender, known as the Invitation to Tender (ITT), outlines specific obligations regarding the quality of broadcasts. It stipulates that the feed must meet the standards necessary for television delivery, ensuring compatibility for television broadcasting. Similarly, for online streaming, the ITT dictates that the feed should be of sufficient quality for Internet and Mobile Delivery, effectively ensuring its suitability for streaming.
To avoid any ambiguity, the ITT makes it clear that the BCCI holds the authority to determine which matches will be televised and which will be streamed. As stated in the ITT, “The BCCI will decide, at its sole and absolute discretion, whether a particular domestic match will be classified as a Domestic Televised Match, a Domestic Digitized Match, or neither.”
This differentiation between television and digital broadcasting is crucial, especially since various broadcasters may hold rights for linear and digital platforms. However, in this instance, Viacom18 has secured both broadcasting rights.
Under the ‘Other Series’ category, the ITT categorizes domestic games, encompassing a wide range of cricket matches organized by the BCCI. This includes men’s A teams, women’s international matches, women’s teams, all age group teams (men and women) of India, and teams from other countries or territories. It also covers warm-up/practice matches organized by the BCCI and any other List ‘A’ cricket matches designated by the BCCI.
Viacom18 expressed its elation at winning the BCCI rights and affirmed its commitment to providing cricket fans with top-notch coverage, both for international and domestic matches. This move solidifies Viacom18’s position as a leading sports network in India, offering fans a comprehensive and high-quality cricket viewing experience.