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February 22, 2009
India's tour will deliver New Zealand Cricket (NZC) the biggest payday in its history - probably in excess of NZ$25 million - thanks to a multimillion-dollar deal for television rights. The board will pocket a staggering $1 million for each of the 22 days that India will be in action, making the deal the biggest one-off broadcasting windfall in New Zealand sport.
The New Zealand board has also taken out insurance against being unable to deliver matches to Indian broadcaster Sony. "We normally have insurance for gate receipts if a match is rained out, but for a tour of the magnitude of India we're insuring everything, including TV rights," NZC boss Justin Vaughan told the Sunday Star Times.
During a tour, it is the host nation that bears the expenses of visiting teams, but in turn gets sole access to all broadcast rights and gate receipts. Over the past two years, NZC's income has been around $30 million, but this year Vaughan hoped to bring in "north of $40 million" from broadcast rights, sponsorship and ticket sales.
Broadcast rights account for up to 75% of NZC's income and after the previous tour by West Indies and the upcoming series against India, broadcast revenue is expected to be in excess of $30 million.
Vaughan did not give away the exact figures, but said a tour by India generated "many times" more income than tours by Australia, South Africa and England, who are on the next tier. He said the Indian tour was worth more to NZC than the payout from the 2007 World Cup, which was around $20 million.
"I doubt we've had a bigger year than the one that's in front of us," Vaughan said.
He also said it was vital for New Zealand to perform well on the field, as he was looking to negotiate the rights for the next cycle in the Future Tours Programme (FTP) and was keen on another Indian tour as soon as possible.
"This series is as important as any I can remember," he said. "The tour is important on so many levels, obviously financially, but we cannot emphasise enough how important it is for us to do well against them on the field.
"This Indian team rates itself extremely highly and if we are competitive against them then the levels of respect New Zealand gets in terms of international credibility will increase and that's really important as we look at the planning of the FTP beyond 2012.
"To have some influence over that [FTP] people have to understand that we're a serious player. We can't always rely on good relationships with England and Australia we have to be able to prove it on the field as well. Because an Indian tour is so important for our finances, we'd like an Indian tour to come in the next four-year cycle."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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