Despite WPL windfall, no separate package for women’s internationals in BCCI media rights

The next bilateral cycle’s coverage of India’s women’s games won’t incur any additional charges. The women’s international matches are categorized under the “Other Series” category by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which also includes the organization’s domestic competitions, such as the Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, Duleep Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The coveted ITT, which is a request for proposals for media rights, states: “The term ‘Other Series’ shall also include Women’s International Matches.”

In addition, “the ‘Other Series’ shall include (i) cricket matches organized by BCCI and played in India between men’s A teams, women’s international matches, women’s teams and all age group teams (men and women), as well as warm-up/practice matches organized by BCCI for such teams from any other country/territory; (ii) practice/warm-up cricket matches organized by BCCI and played in India by a Visiting Team prior to any intercontinental series

Although this choice could initially appear to be a continuation of the BCCI’s current rules, women’s cricket has been progressively forging its own unique character. The Women’s Premier League (WPL) media rights were sold by BCCI last year for an amazing Rs 951 crore for five years. Even the International Cricket Council (ICC) has a specific set of rules for women’s matches and frequently stated that they will be aggressively promoted.

While all games are bundled together for international markets by Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board, boards that prioritize women’s matches more than their counterparts in other nations, there is still some recognition of women’s internationals and the Women’s Big Bash League within the Australian domestic market.

In recent years, the profile of women’s sports has increased on a global scale, paralleling the rise in fan enthusiasm, if not always equal to that of men’s cricket. This pattern is highlighted by the significant deal for the WPL rights. The importance of women’s games is paramount, not the BCCI’s decision to combine men’s and women’s games in this setting, which may not worry rival broadcasters.

Over 300 international women’s games are listed in the Women’s FTP, which the ICC published last year. These games include seven Tests, 135 ODIs, and 159 T20Is. Over the next three years, bilateral women’s cricket matches between India and New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and the West Indies are scheduled.

Women’s international matches will, however, be free to the rights holders since the BCCI is only looking for media rights value for men’s games. It’s not just about whether or not women’s matches are coupled with men’s matches or whether or not broadcasters can get women’s internationals for free. The evolution of women’s cricket is the bigger picture, according to a broadcaster taking part in the media rights auction on August 31.

Ireland series broadcast rights acquired by Viacom 18

According to sources, Viacom 18 will later this month purchase the rights to the three Twenty20 Internationals between India and Ireland. The matches are probably going to be shown on Sports 18 and Jio Cinema, Viacom 18’s television and digital sports outlets, even if no formal announcement has been made. A backup Indian side, led by Jasprit Bumrah, will play in the three matches, which are set for August 18, 20, and 23.

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