Agnelli stays with coach Allegri at struggling Juventus
Suddenly the focus shifted in men’s and women’s cricket to T20 cricket and is expected to stay there for a few months.
The immediate focus is on preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which kicks off on October 16 in Geelong, Australia. Meanwhile, the Asia Women’s T20 Cup is taking place in Bangladesh, with the final scheduled for October 15. The Australian Big Bash League will run from December 13, 2022 to February 4, 2023. This will be followed by the two new T20 franchise tournaments in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, the Bangladesh Premier League and the Pakistan Super League, all piled up mainly in January and February 2023.
The Asia Women’s T20 Cup reached its semi-final stage on October 11, with India, Pakistan, who beat India in the round-robin stage, Sri Lanka and Thailand emerging. It looked like despite a brave attempt by the Thai team to reach the last four, including a victory over Pakistan, they would be trailed in net pace by Bangladesh.
However, due to rain, no play was possible in Bangladesh’s last match against the United Arab Emirates. This means that, dramatically, Thailand finished in fourth place, instead of the host nation. Thailand will face India, who edged them out for just 37 points in the group stage match, in hopes of avoiding another low score. The United Arab Emirates have won only one victory, against Malaysia, who have lost all their matches.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the UAE men’s team will take part in the group stage qualification for the Men’s T20 World Cup, taking on Sri Lanka, Namibia and the Netherlands. A second group includes the West Indies, Scotland, Ireland and Zimbabwe. The top two teams from each group will join the eight automatic Super12 stage qualifiers, starting October 22, culminating in the final on November 13. A cash prize of $5.6 million will be shared among the participating teams, of which $1.6 million will go to the winners and $800,000 to the runners-up.
In the build-up to the tournament, a plethora of matches are played in preparation to refine both form and selection. Each of the teams involved in the qualifying group stage played matches in Melbourne between October 10 and 13 against teams from the other qualifying group. The teams that have automatically qualified face each other in Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Christchurch.
The number of T20 matches that have already been played this month, the number that are due to be played until mid-November and those that will be played between mid-December – after a break for the FIFA World Cup — and the end of May 2023, has all the appearance of an excess. It should not be forgotten that the last men’s T20 World Cup final took place as recently as November 14, 2021, having been postponed from 2020.
T20 cricket does not depend on spectator attendance for its financial success. As stated in previous columns, the Indian Premier League will get a whopping $6.2 billion in media rights for its 2023-2027 cycle. At the online auction last June, these were split almost evenly between TV and digital rights, with Disney Star retaining the TV rights.
At the end of August, the International Cricket Council (ICC) held its auction for the TV and digital rights to ICC men’s and women’s events on the Indian subcontinent. Disney Star was the preferred bidder for a four-year cycle from 2024 to 2027, beating bids from Viacom18, Sony and Zee. A base price of $1.44 billion had been set by the ICC for a four-year contract. It is understood that this has been greatly exceeded, perhaps by more than double.
By reaffirming its ownership of IPL TV rights and ICC TV and digital rights, Disney Star has established itself as India’s premier cricket media channel. He also has digital rights with Cricket Australia between 2023-2031 and with Cricket South Africa until 2023-24. This dominant position will be visible at the upcoming T20 World Cup, as Star Network owns the TV rights in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Broadcasting in Pakistan will be via Pakistan Television Corporation and ARY Digital Networks, while Gazi TV and Rabbithole will broadcast and broadcast the matches live in Bangladesh. Sky Sports will show and show matches in the UK, while Fox Sports, Channel Nine and Kayo will show matches in Australia. Willow TV, owned by the Internet Times, will broadcast the matches in the United States, targeting the diaspora in the Indian subcontinent. Since the T20 World Cup 2024 will be held in the West Indies, media companies are eager to build this market in advance. This strategy will bring even more benefits if the ICC succeeds in having cricket included in the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.
The huge investments that will be made in T20 franchises and ICC flagship events between 2023-4 and 2027 by media companies demand a return on that investment. This is generated by subscribers and advertisers. As an example, the video content delivery platform, Disney+ Hotstar, had 58.4 million subscribers in India and Southeast Asia in mid-2022. This is an increase compared to 45 million at the same time in 2021, with 8 million added in the second quarter of 2022. , when playing the IPL. A subscription for an annual premium account in India costs $18, so more than $1 billion could be generated annually from this source alone. The Indian market is seen by media companies as a market that will continue to grow, with Disney predicting 80 million subscribers by 2025 for Hotstar.
By June 2023, the effects of multiple T20 tournaments should be apparent. Besides a spotlight on the winning teams and the most valuable players, the attention of investors and organizers will focus on the number of spectators. These will determine marketing and communications strategies over the cycle to 2027 and the appetite for engagement thereafter. Currently, this appetite does not seem to have an end, but the fashions and tastes of customers may reach a saturation point. The next five years will determine the next evolutionary stage of cricket.