STAR India have won the Indian cricket team's title sponsorship right outbidding Sahara India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the sponsors after opening bids in Chennai on Monday. The rights are from 2014 to 2017. Sahara India are the current team sponsors and their contract with BCCI expires at the end of December. STAR are the broadcaster partners of the Indian cricket Board.
Keeping current market trends in mind, the BCCI slashed the base price to Rs 1.5 crore per match this time. 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 last date for buying bidding documents was on Saturday. Among the five major companies buying the bid documents were STAR India, Multi Screen Media, and the UB Group. 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. The reduced base price was apparently another factor for Sahara to change their mind.
STAR and MSM already have links with Indian cricket. STAR are the BCCI's host broadcasters and 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.