Star succeeds Sony as CSA rights partner in deal to 2024 across Asia and MENA
Star India, the dominant broadcaster in world cricket, has strengthened its portfolio further with the acquisition of rights to national team and franchise matches played in South Africa over the next four years.
The agreement with Cricket South Africa covers Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and begins with England's limited overs tour of South Africa, which gets under way on 27 November.
Star has replaced rival Sony Pictures Network as the CSA's broadcast partner. Sony assumed the eight-year rights contract to 2019-20 when it acquired Ten Sports from Zee Entertainment in 2016.
Star has been granted exclusive rights across linear and digital mediums including all three India tours (20 matches) to South Africa in the duration of the contract, which runs to 2024.
As per the ICC Future Tours Plan, South Africa will be playing 59 matches at home to 2024. The agreement also covers women’s international cricket matches played by the Momentum Proteas as well as CSA’s domestic men’s franchise matches.
South Africa and England will play three Twenty20 Internationals on 27 and 29 November and 1 December, and these will mark the first non-India bilateral matches to be produced in Hindi, in addition to an English feed, in a bid to broaden the reach of the coverage.
The three One Day Internationals are slated for 4, 6 and 9 December.
Sanjog Gupta, chief executive of sports, Star India, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Cricket South Africa. This alliance fortifies our commitment to cricket and our belief in the significance of sport in Star India’s consumer proposition. South Africa has some of the most highly recalled Cricketers and competitive teams, which pride themselves in taking on the best from around the world. We look forward to hosting the best of South African cricket till 2024.”
Acting CSA chief executive Kugandrie Govender added: “There are few social events on the South African sporting calendar that rally our fans up as much the cricket-showdown between South Africa, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, so we wholeheartedly welcome this agreement with Star India. Knowing that the sport reaches millions of people all over the world, which is now further amplified by this Star deal, will see our Protea teams even more powered up to impress fans and to outperform their rivals.”
Star has just come off the back of a record Indian Premier League, rights to which it holds in a five-year deal to 2022 worth $2.5 billion. It also holds domestic rights to India's home matches in a deal with the BCCI worth nearly $1 billion over five years to 2022, and is the ICC’s global broadcast partner in an eight-year deal worth $1.9 billion that runs until the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.
Star had outbid Sony for the IPL rights, but Sony bounced back by securing deals with Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board to show international matches played in those countries, including tours by India.
Sony also recently retained Sri Lanka Cricket rights, but a new competitor has emerged in the region with Amazon to replace Star as the Indian home of international cricket played in New Zealand from 2021-22.