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TV rights for the BCCI: Just say No!

Submitted by rickeyre on October 10, 2006 - 3:25pm

The wealthiest sporting body in the world not to have its own website, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), wants to buy the worldwide broadcasting and new media rights to all ICC-run tournaments from 2007 to 2015. There is just one word that should be said, if not screamed, in reply:


Never mind that the BCCI's current executive conducts business with a coherence and transparency that makes the North Korean Government green with envy, it's the simple conflict of interest involved in one franchise owning all the most lucrative rights to a competition in which it is one of the players.

If the BCCI were to take control of the world game's purse strings, then the global interest would become subservient to India's interests. Do we want India to be the USA of Cricket? Not really. Strong competitors, good global citizens yes, even a highly lucrative fan base... but not the overwhelmingly dominating marketplace.

It's not the place for national boards to hoard worldwide rights in any sport. If an Indian media company such as Zee TV wins the tender, then that's ok... so long as they remain at an arms length from the actual administration of the game.

At the moment only established broadcast and media companies can bid for the ICC audiovisual rights. Any attempt to change that to accomodate the BCCI should be resisted. And even if it's not resisted, the highest bid is not necessarily the best bid.

(Oh actually there is a BCCI website. Go to, and then view the source code.)