The process to distribute the media rights for major ICC events from 2007 to 2015 is underway and ICC's chief executive Malcolm Speed says he is delighted with the level of interest being shown in preliminary discussions with broadcasters and agencies.
"It is very gratifying to see strong interest from many broadcasters and agencies that have not previously had an involvement in cricket," said Speed. "We have been delighted with the interest shown in the next package of rights by broadcasters and media rights agencies from all over the world."
The existing deal with Global Cricket Corporation, which started in 2000, expires at the end of the World Cup. The new contract will cover 18 tournaments, including two World Cups, three Champions Trophies and the first two Twenty20 World Championships. Other events include the ICC Trophy and Under-19 World Cups.
The ICC's relationship with GCC was, however, sometimes fraught. In 2003 the pair became embroiled in a row when GCC, who had sold on rights to events to third parties, claimed that certain terms and conditions had not been met and it withheld $47 million. It was also GCC who first enforced the controversial ambush marketing laws which have resulted in considerable adverse publicity for the ICC and a major row with the Indian board shortly before the last World Cup.
Speed and his colleagues will have learnt some valuable lessons as they return to the negotiating table. "This is an important time for ICC and our members as we seek to get the best possible deal," he added. "The income generated from this process will support the continued development of cricket globally and is an extremely important source of revenue for our members."
"We have now completed the first phase of a fair, transparent and accountable process and we will issue the formal Invitation to Tender next week. The interest shown so far indicates just how popular and marketable cricket is around the world and the more we can develop that, the better for everyone as we look towards the future."