In a first after nearly 12 years, Star India has acquired the broadcasting and other media rights of Cricket South Africa till the culmination of the 2023/24 season, across Asia, Middle-East, and North Africa.
The agreement grants Star India exclusive rights to broadcast cricket matches in South Africa across traditional and digital platforms, including all Indian tours of the rainbow nation, the first of which is set to take place at the end of 2022 that will see the Men in Blue lock horns with the Proteas in three ICC Test Championship Tests and as many Twenty20 Internationals.
The new association will make its debut with the first T20I between the Proteas and England at Newlands Cape Town on Friday, November 27. The England tour of South Africa will also be the first time that Star Sports will broadcast Hindi commentary in a series not involving India.
”We are delighted to collaborate with Cricket South Africa. This alliance fortifies our commitment to cricket and our belief in the significance of sport in Star India’s consumer proposition. South Africa has some of the most highly recalled Cricketers and competitive teams, which pride themselves in taking on the best from around the world. We look forward to hosting the best of South African cricket till 2024,” Sanjog Gupta, CEO Star Sports India said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“Star India has made significant investments over the years to deepen the relationship that fans have with the game via enhanced story-telling, innovations in broadcast and regionalisation. The broadcast of Dream11 IPL was an unprecedented collective endeavour built on the same principles. We will hope to apply the same approach and elevate the consumer experience of CSA’s matches. The partnership will kick off with England tour of South Africa on 27 November 2020 during which the three T20Is will be broadcast in Hindi for the very first time. This will give these matches significant reach in the Hindi-speaking markets,” he added.
India to tour South Africa thrice during the 4-year-period
According to the Future-Tour Program [FTP], the Proteas are slated to play 59 international matches at home during the 4-year-period, which will include tours from high-profile countries like India, Australia, and England. Indian team is scheduled to travel to South Africa during this period, and the deal comprises 20 fixtures across formats between the two nations.
Meanwhile, CSA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Kugandrie Govender said-
“There are few social events on the South African sporting calendar that rally our fans up as much the cricket-showdown between South Africa, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, so we wholeheartedly welcome this agreement with Star India. Knowing that the sport reaches millions of people all over the world, which is now further amplified by this Star deal, will see our Protea teams even more powered up to impress fans and to outperform their rivals! We look forward to partnering with Star India and to delivering wicket-smashing cricket until the end of the 2023/24 season!”
For the uninitiated, Star India already holds the broadcasting rights of ICC events, Indian cricket, and the IPL.