(Repeats for wider distribution)
MUMBAI, April 5 (Reuters) - Star India bagged the global television and digital rights for cricket in India for the next five years on Thursday with a $945 million bid to complete their stranglehold on the coverage of the game in its commercial home.
“Star India bags BCCI India International and Domestic media rights for INR 6138.1 crore for the next five years,” the Indian cricket board (BCCI) tweeted at the end of the three-day e-bidding, a first in cricket.
The highest bid fell short of the billion dollar mark but means the broadcasters will pay $9.24 million for every international match in the 2018-2023 period.
Six companies, including Facebook and Google, initially entered the fray to bid for 102 matches in India.
Following scrutiny, Star India Private Ltd, Reliance Industries Limited, and Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited were found eligible to submit online financial bids.
Star India struck cricket’s biggest television deal in September to secure Indian Premier League’s (IPL) global media rights for $2.52 billion, which consolidated BCCI’s position as the richest board in the world.
$1 = 64.92 Indian rupees Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar