Star buys title rights to India's home games

The Rs. 2 crore deal is less than what Airtel paid per international match.

The deal covers India's home fixtures against Australia and WI.

TV conglomerate Star India has become the latest title sponsors for all international and domestic cricket to be played in India for the 2013-14 season.

A press statement from the BCCI said the deal with Star India Pvt. Ltd. and ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd. has been struck at a fee of Rs. 2 crore per international match, which was also the base price for the tender invited last week.

Star holds the rights to produce the broadcast of all of BCCI's international and domestic matches. That six-year deal signed in 2012 is worth Rs 3851 crore.

Telecommunication service provider Airtel has been the previous title right holder for the period between 2010-13. The fee paid by Star is less than the Rs. 3.33 crore per international match bid by Airtel, taking the value of the three-year deal to Rs 165 crore.

Airtel has not commented yet why it has chosen to not renew the deal. While the Indian cricket team’s stocks are soaring with the ODI successes in England and the West Indies, their cricket administration has repeatedly figured in controversies, most notably the involvement of team owners in the betting and spot-fixing scandal during this year’s IPL.

Star’s current deal encompasses 13 international fixtures at home before it ends March 31. “Bidders had the option of bidding for either the series between India and Australia, or the series between India and the West Indies, or both,” BCCI’s statement signed by their secretary Sanjay Patel said.

Airtel had earlier discontinued their title sponsorship of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament. They had a five-year deal worth $40 million but withdrew two years in. Nokia stepped in the breach for a year in 2011 but, like Airtel, did not renew the deal which moved on to Karbonn Mobiles.