ICC Media Rights: Indian competitors are concerned by the lack of confidence over the games with Pakistan

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The Indian broadcasters and digital players bidding for the media rights of the International Cricket Council are concerned about the lack of clarity on withholding tax and the mechanism to select the four and eight-year bids (ICC). The largest concern of them all, however, is the ICC’s silence over the improbable possibility of India failing to advance to the knockout rounds and the lack of guarantees that every major international competition will have a specific India-Pakistan match.

In recent years, an ICC match between longtime rivals has been a regular component in practically all major international events, serving as the commercial blockbuster for television and digital distribution. However, the ITT, which the ICC recently announced, makes no such guarantees. The broadcasters appear to be looking for assurances in this regard, and those who purchased the paper revealed to Cricbuzz that it will be the major subject of the answers sought. The deadline for requests for clarification from ITT purchasers is July 15.

When contacted, the ICC said that it was unable to comment on matters that were considered to be commercially sensitive, although a knowledgeable source pointed out that such promises cannot be made. “That is not how it works. If you recall, there was no India-Pakistan match in the 2020 men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, which was ultimately postponed due to the epidemic.” The rankings of the two teams at the deadline prevented the match from taking place.

An India-Pakistan match has been played in every ICC tournament this cycle, including the 2015 World Cup in Australia, the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, the 2019 World Cup in England, and the 2021 T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. It is a part of the Australia 2022 World Cup and is scheduled for Sunday, October 23, at the MCG.

If India doesn’t advance to the knockout rounds, the Indian television firms also appear to be demanding commercial modifications. “The number of India games is what matters in the ICC tender, not the total number of games. We thus want some flexibility and clarification on any price increases “a representative of an Indian broadcaster remarked.

However, ICC sources have once more stated that no such arrangements will be made. For the record, save from the ICC tournament in the UAE last year, the Indian team has advanced to the knockout stages in every ICC event since the current cycle began in 2015.

Withholding tax is a different problem; a portion of the money that the payer deducts from the amount due is paid to the government directly. Although the broadcasters want to know the extent of their obligation, the ICC views it as a serious and economically sensitive topic that should not be discussed in public.

“It matters who will be responsible for paying TDS or withholding tax. If the tax is 10%, we might think about shouldering the financial burden, but what if it is 36%? “asked a business leader whose organization is vying for the rights. The parties want clarification on the methodology used to choose between a four-year and an eight-year offer.

On June 20, the ICC began the 2024–31 cycle tender for the India area for both four and eight-year increments. All interested parties must submit a bid for a minimum of four years, with the possibility to submit a claim for an additional eight years. Both individual bids for the broadcast rights and the internet rights, as well as combined bids for both rights, are options.

The winning proposal shall be paid out according to the following split: 23% in 2024, 24% in 2025, 26% in 2026, and 27% in 2027. The ITT, which costs USD 30,000, will be offered for sale until August 5. The proposals must be submitted by August 22 and will be unveiled in Dubai on August 26. (last time they were opened in London). The winning bids will be revealed by early September, according to the ICC.

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