Media & entertainment major ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEE) and Disney Star have announced a tie-up, under which Disney Star will licence the television broadcasting rights of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Men’s and Under 19 (U-19) global events for four years to ZEE. Disney Star will, however, continue to stream all ICC tournaments via its digital platform -- Disney+ Hotstar.
The Zee Ent. stock closed 2.37% up at ₹257.30 on the NSE today.
The announcement comes months after Viacom18 acquired the non-exclusive rights to digitally stream 18 matches in every season of IPL (Indian Premier League) in the Indian sub-continent for the seasons from 2023 to 2027, in June 2022.
ICC has given in-principle approval for this arrangement, ZEEL says in an exchange filing. The tie-up will enable ZEE to be the exclusive television rights holder of ICC men’s events, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup (2024, 2026), ICC Men’s Champions Trophy (2025), and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup (2027), along with key ICC U-19 events.
Zee Entertainment MD and CEO Punit Goenka terms it a first-of-its-kind partnership in the Indian media and entertainment landscape. "As a one-stop television destination for ICC men’s cricket events until 2027, ZEE will leverage the strength of its network to offer a compelling experience for its viewers and a great return on investment for its advertisers," he says.
Zee continues to focus on "long-term profitability and value-generation", he says. K. Madhavan, country manager and president, Disney Star says by securing the IPL television broadcast rights for 2023-27 and now opting to retain only the digital rights for ICC tournaments for 2024-27, Disney Star has in place a balanced and robust cricket offering.
"Over the years, Disney Star has strengthened the appeal of international cricket in India, enabling it to reach diverse age groups and cultural demographics across all parts of the country. As India’s leading media house, we will continue to do so with our strong portfolio of cricket properties across television and digital.”
Notably, the ICC digital rights have been secured for the next four years. With this, Disney Star's current portfolio includes the television rights for IPL (2023-27), television and digital rights for Cricket Australia (2023-2030), television and digital BCCI rights (2023) and television and digital rights for Cricket South Africa (end of 2023-2024). It also offers other major sports properties on its platforms including Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Super League, the Wimbledon Championship and the English Premier League.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in June had raised a record ₹48,390 crore by auctioning media rights for 410 matches of the IPL for the period 2023-27, with digital rights exceeding TV rights for the first time. While DisneyStar retained the IPL TV rights for the Indian subcontinent for ₹23,575 crore, digital rights went to Viacom 18 for ₹23,758 crore.