Sahara ineligible, STAR India clinch Indian cricket team's sponsorship rights

STAR India has won the BCCI rights from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017 after seven corporate houses, including Sahara India, showed interest to bid. STAR will pay approximately Rs 1.92 crore per match to the Indian Board.

Updated: December 09, 2013 19:08 IST
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Already the broadcast partners of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, STAR India have now extended their relationship with the Indian cricket by winning Team India's sponsorship rights. The BCCI announced the sponsors after bids were opened in Chennai on Monday afternoon. According to the Board, two bids were submitted. STAR India won the rights after Sahara India's bid was found "ineligible." The rights are from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017 and covers BCCI, International Cricket Council and Asian Cricket Council events. Sahara India are the current team sponsors and their contract with BCCI expires at the end of December, 2013.

Keeping current market trends in mind, the BCCI slashed the base price to Rs 1.5 crore per match this time. STAR won the rights by offering to pay approximately Rs 1.92 crore per match. Sahara had been paying Rs 3.34 crore per international match since July 1, 2010. Sahara outbid Airtel in 2010 to extend its sponsorship of the Indian team. Three years ago, the BCCI base price was Rs 2.5 crore per match. Sahara secured the rights by paying Rs 3.34 crore to Airtel's Rs 2.89 crore per international game.

The team sponsorship include the right to be called the "official team sponsor," and to display a commercial logo on the team clothing of the senior men's team, the Under-19 (boys), the A team (men) and the women's squad.

The last date for buying bidding documents was on Saturday. There were seven prospective bidders. Apart from STAR and Sahara, Multi Screen Media and the UB Group also picked up bid documents but finally did not submit them. Sahara were late entrants after reportedly sorting out their differences with BCCI president N. Srinivasan. In October this year, after the Board had terminated Sahara-sponsored Indian Premier League team Pune Warriors over franchise fees, Sahara had decided to sever all links with BCCI. But in a dramatic turn of events, Sahara bought the bid documents for Rs 2 lakh. The reduced base price was apparently another factor for Sahara to change their mind. BCCI did not say why the Sahara bid was found "ineligible".

STAR and MSM already have links with Indian cricket. Apart from being broadcasters (till March 2018) and now team sponsors, STAR also have series sponsorship rights for all home matches till March 2014. MSM is the BCCI's broadcast partner for the IPL. United Breweries have an IPL team - Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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