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The economics of cricket January 21, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, sport.
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Scheduling matches and locations has got more to do with commerce than meets the common man’s eye.

A bilateral contest between India and the world’s number one team is aimed at capitalising on India’s lucrative pay television market, with each of the planned seven games expected to generate up to $6 million. A triangular contest would mean lesser returns for each participant, apart from relative lack of viewer interest when India fails to make it to the finals as happened in the DLF Cup in Malaysia in October 2006. The BCCI reportedly sold the offshore television rights for each game in the series that featured India for $US5.8m but had to offload the Australia-West Indies matches for only $US1.2m.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Indians are believed to hold the upper hand in the negotiations, for any of the other major nations – West Indies, South Africa, England or Pakistan – would jump at the chance to make millions were Australia to refuse to play. Yet, the paper also cited insiders as claiming that the Indian board was desperate to get the Australians on board if they hoped to raise $ 42 million from the series.

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