Disney Star's 'Masterstroke' ICC Deal With Zee Hits A Sticky Wicket

Disney Star announced its decision to license the TV broadcasting rights for ICC Men's and U-19 global events to Zee for the 2024-27 cycle in August 2023, yet there’s been no forward movement on the arrangement.

What Happened? As highlighted by a News18 report, Disney Star won the broadcast and digital rights to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) global events in India for the 2024-27 cycle but chose to license a portion of these rights to Zee Entertainment Enterprises last year.

In a move hailed as a “masterstroke” by industry experts, Disney Star has retained digital rights for ICC Men's and U-19 tournaments, and both digital and broadcast rights for ICC women's events for the Indian market.

Disney Star’s choice to license part of the rights, which reportedly cost them $3.04 billion (₹25,091 crore), to Zee is seen as a strategy to both reduce the financial burden of the deal and maximise the potential of the digital component.

See also: Disney Scores 28 Sponsors For The 2023 ICC WTC Final: Report

However, progress on the arrangement has stalled, as a proposed merger between Zee and Sony for the broadcast rights has yet to occur. Additionally, Zee has not provided Disney-Star with a bank guarantee for the deal. Currently, only a contract between the ICC and Disney Star and a joint press release from Disney and Zee outlining the new arrangement exist.

News that Moves

Get Ring The Bell, Benzinga India’s weekly briefing. Designed specifically for investors like you.

Despite these complications, Disney-Star is under increasing pressure, as they will be the ones to pay the ICC regardless of the outcome between Disney-Star and Zee, and then Zee and Sony.

Read next: What Is Reliance Jio’s Share Price And How To Buy

Posted In: EntertainmentSportsGeneralDisney StarSonyZee