The new rules will diminish the say of home broadcasters as away broadcasters will fetch television rights of a bilateral series by bidding the highest from a common pool laid down by Full members © Getty Images
The  away broadcasters may fetch television rights of a bilateral series by bidding the highest from a common pool laid down by Full members © Getty Images

A major change to the existing ecosystem of selling television rights is under discussion by Full Members and will be scrutinised further at the International Cricket Council‘s (ICC) annual conference later this month. The change is aimed at giving member boards better value for their television rights in overseas markets. If it is successfully implemented, a new model could see boards take maximum control than broadcasters of monetising the value of bilateral cricket as well as its promotion and visibility in less proper markets across the globe. It is a welcome change in the cricketing arena as this would cut down middleman work as all shots will be called by Full members. ALSO READ:BCCI contemplate mini IPL in September 2016

What is the current scenario?

Consider a bilateral series between New Zealand and England in England. England, being the home team, gets to sell the television rights for the purpose of broadcasting in England to whomsoever it may like. Normally in England, the television rights are sold to Sky; Sky then decides to whom it may sell the rights for broadcasting in other countries. ALSO READ:ICC considering to bring ODI league

So, what changed?

Under the new rules, the Full Members will form a ‘common pool’ (BCCI, CA, ECB and the 7 other Full Member boards). The broadcasters will have to buy the rights from this pool in order to showcase the series in overseas countries. This gives more say to the Full members, because of their stature, and it also eliminates the undue advantage given to the home broadcaster.

The best deal will fetch the television rights to broadcast the matches in other countries. In the ongoing series between England and Sri Lanka, the home broadcast has been assigned to Sky, who have given broadcasting rights to Star Sports and other channels. As a result, viewers outside England get to see streaming only during the match, and no pre- or post-match analysis. The new rules are set to cut down on the home broadcaster’s word of mouth, as the overseas broadcasters will bid from the common pool laid down by Full members and will be a fair call for everyone. A win-win situation for all, it seems.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)