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Cricket Australia Lands $250M Rights Deal with Disney Star

  • Disney Star replaces Sony, which has held media rights since 2017.
  • The deal is for seven years starting in 2023.
Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports

Cricket Australia has secured a media rights deal with Disney worth $250 million to broadcast games in India through Disney Star — an Indian media subsidiary of the entertainment giant. 

Disney Star — for seven years starting in 2023 — will air international matches and both men’s and women’s Big Bash League games, two Twenty20 leagues launched by Cricket Australia in 2011. 

  • Twenty20 is a shortened format of cricket introduced to the pro ranks in the early 2000s.
  • Disney Star replaces Sony, which has held media rights since 2017.
  • The deal also includes “other territories across Asia.” 

The pact helps bolster Disney Star’s portfolio of cricket media rights. In June, the pay-TV network extended its domestic TV rights deal with the Indian Premier League for $3 billion.

Despite having domestic TV rights, Disney Star failed to retain global streaming rights to the IPL after Viacom18, a joint venture between Reliance Industries, Paramount Global, and Bodhi Tree Systems, acquired the rights in a deal valued at $2.6 billion that runs from 2023 through 2027. 

Cricket in Court

Cricket Australia, the national governing body of cricket in Australia and a hot commodity for some of the largest mass media companies in the world, is also facing legal woes.

Earlier this month, Australia’s Channel Seven filed court proceedings in an effort to terminate a $310 million media rights deal with Cricket Australia. Channel Seven — a Seven West Media company — claims Cricket Australia breached its contract, which has two summers remaining.

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