ESPN’s Indian arm, ESPN Star Sports, has paid a record $200 million to secure the TV rights to the English international and club matches covered by the England & Wales Cricket Board. The rights extend for seven years to 2019. The previous five-year deal cost ESPN Star Sports just $80 million.
These new rights cover TV as well as online, radio and mobile, and can be transmitted into India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, plus certain territories in North Africa.
As part of the deal, ESPN will enjoy two India test series against England, and about 300 days per year of live cricket.
For the first time, India’s cable digitisation plan should be fully implemented and ESPN is expected to gain subscription income from millions of newly digitised homes.