England in India 2012-13 October 25, 2012

BCCI holds firm on broadcaster fees

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The BCCI remains firm in its demand of what it calls "realistic costs" of providing space and access for independent TV and radio commentary teams from Sky TV and BBC's Test Match Special to cover England's tour of India which is due to begin in early November.

Officials have refused to make a statement on the matter but ESPNcricinfo understands that the BCCI has not signed any rights deals or contract with either Sky or TMS. The dispute of the amounts mentioned - £500,000 (US$806,000) for Sky and £50,000 (US$80,000) for BBC - has arisen because, for the first time, the BCCI holds production rights for the coverage of Indian cricket.

Sky and BBC have signed sub-licencee agreements with Star TV which is the owner of "global media rights" of Indian cricket which will give them access to the world feed. As Star is not in charge of production, the arrangements to set up independent commentary teams and provide access to commentary boxes and independent studios must be made between sub-licencees and the production house, in this case the BCCI.

A BCCI official, preferring anonymity, said: "It is not as if they have only asked for a commentary box. They have demanded a full control room, just like the one our host broadcaster has at every venue. If you have to create an additional space of 2000 sq ft, fully air-conditioned, it will bear a lot of cost. And neither the BCCI nor any of our affiliated units who would be hosting the match would bear the additional cost."

In the past, the TV channel that owned the rights, usually also controlled production. During tours by visiting teams, the cost of providing access and facilities to commentary teams from overseas was worked out between the production house and the foreign media channels. The "access fees" were worked out through mutual relationships between the broadcast and production companies. Costs have often been waived and even if the extent of the support required was substantial, the fees were arrived at following mutually-agreeable discussions.

With the BCCI owning production rights to all cricket out of India, the visiting broadcast companies must independently negotiate costs over and above what it has paid the rights owners for sub-licences. Just after Star won its global media rights, a joint ESPNStar production team had made a pitch for production rights of cricket in India but had not won the contract.

BCCI is not the only cricket board that owns production rights: Cricket South Africa's global rights are sold to SuperSport but it keeps production under its own control. Under CSA's terms, the Board has the final say on its commentary team for its home audience while IMG takes care of some of camera crew and graphics and also sorts out the agreements between independent visiting commentary teams.

The fees being asked for by the BCCI from Sky and BBC for production costs have led the visiting broadcasters to suggest they may decide to provide independent commentary from their UK headquarters off a television set rather than live action at the venue.

With additional inputs from Firdose Moonda

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    @Sharyar Hussain Is that this simple,sir?The tv rights holder of Indian Cricket Star TV and UK'S Sky TV are both controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.So they will be having some mutual agreement than a wrangle of this sort.But Sky's coverage along with Channel Nine is the best in the cricketing world.So I will be disappointed on that front.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | October 27, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    If all this is about facilities including a studio why not send the commentators and have analysis back in London? Like at the WT20

  • POSTED BY on | October 27, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    So move the contest to England, it's a balmy 2 degrees Celsius - perfect!

  • POSTED BY on | October 27, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    problem is sorted if sky charge the indian broadcasters £500k in current day's money, next time India tour England

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | October 27, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    People mouthing-off BCCI don't even seem to realise that Sky wants not just the commentary team but also a fully featured host broadcaster style control rooms and studios and all such add-ons. So who should pay for that? Not BCCI for sure. BCCI, Sky, BBC or Star - none of them are running charities. Are they? Get a life peoples. Will ya?

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Quick numbers: 500, 000 pounds = 4.3 crore INR [@ INR 86 per pound] No. of tour days ~= 43 i.e. INR 10 lakhs per day or 11.6 k pounds per day Can somebody in the business enlighten us and tell is if this is realistic or inflated?

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | October 26, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Is US$ 80,000 a big amount for BBC that they have to stay in UK studio? The audience can listen to same commentary in cricbuzz app of iphone, android & Blackberry for free too.

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    The amounts asked for by BCCI are just like chicken-feed for the British broadcasters. They just throw up their hands in mock-horror, stare at you unblinkingly for a couple of minutes to see if you succumb. Good acting by BBC and SKY!

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    @Raghav - It's not just as simple as that... BCCI owns the productions rights - it could have easily sold it to ESPNStar for a big amount of money who would then charge Sky or come to a mutual agreement with then but it didn't so now Sky obviously have to pay BCCI instead.

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | October 26, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Rajesh_india_1990 it has nothing to do with the ECB so get your facts right. the argument at the moment is between SKY and the BBC. then in the next series the argument will be between the bidders of that counties broadcasters. the ECB dont get any money from BCCI for television rights. if this had been thrashed out months ago then maybe it would have been accepted, but in less than a month the test begins. it shows a total disrespect to 2 great organizations, i wonder what cricinfo's thoughts would have been if it was done to them, i guess i know what the headlines would be.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    @Sharyar Hussain Is that this simple,sir?The tv rights holder of Indian Cricket Star TV and UK'S Sky TV are both controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.So they will be having some mutual agreement than a wrangle of this sort.But Sky's coverage along with Channel Nine is the best in the cricketing world.So I will be disappointed on that front.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | October 27, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    If all this is about facilities including a studio why not send the commentators and have analysis back in London? Like at the WT20

  • POSTED BY on | October 27, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    So move the contest to England, it's a balmy 2 degrees Celsius - perfect!

  • POSTED BY on | October 27, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    problem is sorted if sky charge the indian broadcasters £500k in current day's money, next time India tour England

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | October 27, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    People mouthing-off BCCI don't even seem to realise that Sky wants not just the commentary team but also a fully featured host broadcaster style control rooms and studios and all such add-ons. So who should pay for that? Not BCCI for sure. BCCI, Sky, BBC or Star - none of them are running charities. Are they? Get a life peoples. Will ya?

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Quick numbers: 500, 000 pounds = 4.3 crore INR [@ INR 86 per pound] No. of tour days ~= 43 i.e. INR 10 lakhs per day or 11.6 k pounds per day Can somebody in the business enlighten us and tell is if this is realistic or inflated?

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | October 26, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Is US$ 80,000 a big amount for BBC that they have to stay in UK studio? The audience can listen to same commentary in cricbuzz app of iphone, android & Blackberry for free too.

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    The amounts asked for by BCCI are just like chicken-feed for the British broadcasters. They just throw up their hands in mock-horror, stare at you unblinkingly for a couple of minutes to see if you succumb. Good acting by BBC and SKY!

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    @Raghav - It's not just as simple as that... BCCI owns the productions rights - it could have easily sold it to ESPNStar for a big amount of money who would then charge Sky or come to a mutual agreement with then but it didn't so now Sky obviously have to pay BCCI instead.

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | October 26, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Rajesh_india_1990 it has nothing to do with the ECB so get your facts right. the argument at the moment is between SKY and the BBC. then in the next series the argument will be between the bidders of that counties broadcasters. the ECB dont get any money from BCCI for television rights. if this had been thrashed out months ago then maybe it would have been accepted, but in less than a month the test begins. it shows a total disrespect to 2 great organizations, i wonder what cricinfo's thoughts would have been if it was done to them, i guess i know what the headlines would be.

  • POSTED BY Juiceoftheapple on | October 26, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Oh deary me, India's weird and wonderful world of contracts, franchises, broadcasting, production and TV company rights strikes again, when will it ever end. OR Let the visting teams commentators watch and commentate on the game live, like they've always done, in a suitable studio. But no, pay up (again) or get lost. When will everyone be sick of India's strong arm tactics and decide they dont need India's money and leave them to play by themselves. But that will never happen because any break away will be met by India trying to isolate any breakway by leaning on their Asian neighbours by switching off their money. I do forsee a return to a world where we only play Australia every year and no one else. Kind of looking forward to it. In all seriousness, we'll play India, because we have to, to take their money, then go off and play all the other countries that we have respect for.

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | October 26, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @riverlime Also note that BCCI is not the only board that owns production rigths as pointed by the author.

  • POSTED BY sachin_vvsfan on | October 26, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    @riverlime you dont have to pay for the tyres if you buy a car but you have to pay for any add ons :)

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    @Thyagu5432: its not that they are gonna construct new bulidings spaces Usually they would allot the space which is in the Broadcast section of a stadium where the commentators and other analysts are usually present any international standard stadium will have a Broadcast section they are asking this enormous fee as a rent to use these facilities which is completely unfair no one would pay RS 16.3 lakhs perday renting a 2000 sqft room

  • POSTED BY Sumanth.GK on | October 26, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Totally agree with BCCI, Pay or get lost

  • POSTED BY philvic on | October 26, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    It is complete waste to duplicate facilities. Just use the host broadcasters feed and commentate off the TV screen in London. Quality of coverage might not be as good but it wills save lots of energy. And I am not sure why some posters have referred to ECB... for once this has nothing to do with them.

  • POSTED BY TontonZolaMoukoko on | October 26, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    For once I agree with the BCCI here, if Sky wants production rights then they must pay accordingly for this. I hope we get Sky commentary though, while I can cope without Bumble and Beefy, it's the intelligent comments from the likes of Atherton and Hussain that I'd miss.

  • POSTED BY Thyagu5432 on | October 26, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    @Raghav GR: I think you have made the math too simple to cook up number to suit your argument. Please remember that they are not playing just 1 match. It is 4 tests, 2 T20 and 5 ODIs. I presume they will possibly use 10 different venues to host these matches. Which means, they need to build a 2000 Sq Ft facility in each of these venues. Now a simple math will show you that BCCI needs to construct 20,000 Sq Ft space spread across 10 venues, @1500 per sqft of construction cost and @1500 per sqft of interiors cost, BCCI needs to spend 6cr just to establish these facilities. I do not know what happens to the land that these facilities will sit on. May be, the local state cricket boards need to be paid for that too. I think BCCI isn undercharging ECB.

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | October 26, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    I think the issue here is that all of a sudden the BCCI have changed the way they work in terms of providing a studio, but not told the other country's broadcaster until under a month before, maybe this should have been made clear straight away and proper negotiations could have taken place. I do really wonder if this is to completley stop the use of hotspot, hawkeye etc? so that there is no case to bring to say at the end of the series that X ammount of wrong decisions could have been avoided? What will happen when a country such as SL, Bangladesh, west Indies tours india now? the broadcaster there certainly wont be paying half a million quid for a studio- so no commentators allowed from any other country then in the future?

  • POSTED BY INDIA_DO_ONE on | October 26, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    too much noise about a non-issue

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_india_1990 on | October 26, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    I think ECB and Sky misunderstoods BCCI's Abbrevation as Board of charity control in india..sorry ECB we are not running any charity here..england is not a poor country to help....already we are helping our neighbours srilanka,pakistan which is rightly so....they want ac room bla bla bla but will not pay money for that..poor ECB keep your ego and poor commentators with you...

  • POSTED BY correctcall on | October 26, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    BCCI strategy to castrate DRS?

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    A simple math would prove how greedy and arrogant BCCI is .They are demanding $806,000 for 27 days of cricket which is around 4.3 crores Rupees and 16 lakhs per day . Now i dunno where on earth are they charging 16 lakhs per day for 2000 sqft room Not even the Presidential suite in white house would be that costlier.I dunno when BCCI are gonna realise that their greed and arrogance are hurting world cricket BIG TIME :( :( :( Shame on BCCI

  • POSTED BY PanGlupek on | October 26, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Sorry, correction to my previous comment - BCCI do own the production rights, so it is up to them, not the venue, to decide if fees are appropriate (not that I think that makes it acceptable to charge that, but maybe Sky's demands for space/equipment are getting bigger, I don't know).

    Still a shame if there won't be stuff like hawkeye or BBC radio there though...

  • POSTED BY FredBoycott on | October 26, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Greed by BCCI. Simple as that. I will follow the game on Ceefax. #digin

  • POSTED BY ramli on | October 26, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Pay or get lost ... no worries ... see you...

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | October 26, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    @ Firehotra, King Lutful..... If I buy a car from someone, do i also have to pay for the tyres separately? Buying the broadcast rights has always included the capability to have live commentary. However, the BCCI have "cleverly" separated the rights, and therefore Star TV sold Sky and BBC one right , leaving BCCI the potential revenue from the stadia. What a good idea. I merely suggest that all Boards follow a similar principle when India is visting, and considering the passion for cricket in India, I can see Indian broadcasters having to pay millions for the use of a dusty trailer in Wellington.

  • POSTED BY PanGlupek on | October 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    It's now occurred to me why the BCCI are doing this: No Sky TV equipment means no Hawkeye, hotspot, or anything else which proves them wrong that DRS is actually a good thing. Also, Nasser Hussain & sometimes some of the other Sky team aren't exactly complimentary about the BCCI & thier methods.

    Not that I see why the BCCI should be allowed to make this decision anyway - surely it should be up to the venue itself to decide if it is able to accommodate Sky's requests...

  • POSTED BY Agnihothra on | October 26, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    @riverlime BCCI is not demanding "ECB" any fee. They are demanding SKY ,access fee to setup a control room etc, previleges normally given to host broadcasters.. Yes when India tours abroad, the host boards can demand the "TV Rights Holders" to that series any extra access fee as seem fit.

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Are people actually reading the article? If you want a feed off star tv, go ahwaed and do a deal with thyem. If you want your own commentators sitting in fully serviced centres in the stadia, pay for the service provided. BCCI is not running a charity. When India visit, BCCI never hosts its commentators, it is the media companies. I am sure ECB does not give its media rights and/or serviced space in the stadia for free.

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    I see you guys comment just reading the heading. It does not charge the board of the visiting team instead it charges the media houses for their special requests. No one gets free meals. You can't say I want everything for free.

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    riverlime, that is a very simplistic view of this situation! If like the BCCI other boards have production rights to themselves they should charge the broadcasters for facilities. But the truth its not like Rupert Murdoch's Sky is going to charge Rupert Murdoch's STAR in UK where SKY has the production rights!

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Commentary from a motel in Slough, like old school Eurosport seemed to?

  • POSTED BY UK_Chap on | October 25, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    As usual the BCCI leading the way for innovations in cricket....

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | October 25, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    The BCCI has every right to demand any price for space in its stadia. Just like any other board has rights to charge the BCCI when India come to visit. I hope that every other Board takes note of the amounts demanded.

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  • POSTED BY riverlime on | October 25, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    The BCCI has every right to demand any price for space in its stadia. Just like any other board has rights to charge the BCCI when India come to visit. I hope that every other Board takes note of the amounts demanded.

  • POSTED BY UK_Chap on | October 25, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    As usual the BCCI leading the way for innovations in cricket....

  • POSTED BY on | October 25, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Commentary from a motel in Slough, like old school Eurosport seemed to?

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    riverlime, that is a very simplistic view of this situation! If like the BCCI other boards have production rights to themselves they should charge the broadcasters for facilities. But the truth its not like Rupert Murdoch's Sky is going to charge Rupert Murdoch's STAR in UK where SKY has the production rights!

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    I see you guys comment just reading the heading. It does not charge the board of the visiting team instead it charges the media houses for their special requests. No one gets free meals. You can't say I want everything for free.

  • POSTED BY on | October 26, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Are people actually reading the article? If you want a feed off star tv, go ahwaed and do a deal with thyem. If you want your own commentators sitting in fully serviced centres in the stadia, pay for the service provided. BCCI is not running a charity. When India visit, BCCI never hosts its commentators, it is the media companies. I am sure ECB does not give its media rights and/or serviced space in the stadia for free.

  • POSTED BY Agnihothra on | October 26, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    @riverlime BCCI is not demanding "ECB" any fee. They are demanding SKY ,access fee to setup a control room etc, previleges normally given to host broadcasters.. Yes when India tours abroad, the host boards can demand the "TV Rights Holders" to that series any extra access fee as seem fit.

  • POSTED BY PanGlupek on | October 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    It's now occurred to me why the BCCI are doing this: No Sky TV equipment means no Hawkeye, hotspot, or anything else which proves them wrong that DRS is actually a good thing. Also, Nasser Hussain & sometimes some of the other Sky team aren't exactly complimentary about the BCCI & thier methods.

    Not that I see why the BCCI should be allowed to make this decision anyway - surely it should be up to the venue itself to decide if it is able to accommodate Sky's requests...

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | October 26, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    @ Firehotra, King Lutful..... If I buy a car from someone, do i also have to pay for the tyres separately? Buying the broadcast rights has always included the capability to have live commentary. However, the BCCI have "cleverly" separated the rights, and therefore Star TV sold Sky and BBC one right , leaving BCCI the potential revenue from the stadia. What a good idea. I merely suggest that all Boards follow a similar principle when India is visting, and considering the passion for cricket in India, I can see Indian broadcasters having to pay millions for the use of a dusty trailer in Wellington.

  • POSTED BY ramli on | October 26, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Pay or get lost ... no worries ... see you...