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The ICC has invited bids for media rights to global cricketing events over the next four (or eight) years for the Australian, US, Caribbean and Canadian markets.
This is the second phase in the ICC's media rights process, after sealing a deal for the Indian market last month for an undisclosed sum. That winning bid, thought to be in the region of just over US$ 3 billion, came from Disney Star* and covers both television and digital rights to men's and women's global tournaments between 2024 and 2027. Days after the winning bid was announced, Disney Star announced it would in turn be licensing part of the rights to Zee Entertainment Enterprises in another landmark deal.
Like the Indian deal, this new ITT (Invitation to Tender) allows players to bid separately for the rights to men's and women's tournaments. But unlike the Indian deal, though, television and digital rights will not be up for grabs separately.
The bids must be made for four or eight years for men's events, starting from 2024, and four years for women's events. There are 16 men's events lined up over the eight years starting from 2024, and six women's events between 2024 and 2027.
ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said the US market, in particular, has a lot of potential for growth: "The USA is one of the ICC's targeted growth markets, and with 30 million cricket fans already enjoying the sport there, a World Cup scheduled to be co-hosted in that country in 2024 and our exciting ambition for inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games, there couldn't be a better time for cricket to find a broadcast partner to help grow the game across the region."
ESPNcricinfo understands the bids need to be submitted by November 18 for Australia and November 7 for the other markets, but deadlines may be tweaked if needed.
The ICC will invite bids for other markets across the globe in due course. It is expected to finalise deals for all markets by December this year.
*ESPNcricinfo and Disney Star are part of the Walt Disney Company.