August 21, 2019 / 10:18 AM / a month ago

Cricket - Indian board grows richer with new Paytm deal

FILE PHOTO: A worker adjusts a hoarding of Paytm, a digital payments firm, in Ahmedabad, India, January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s cricket board (BCCI) said on Wednesday it will earn 58% more per match for the next four years as Paytm retained the title sponsorship rights for international and domestic matches, underlining the game’s undiminished popularity in the country.

Cricketers are the highest profile athletes and enjoy rockstar status in the world’s second most populous country and Paytm’s bid showed the semi-final defeat to New Zealand in the recent 50-over World Cup has not dented the sport’s popularity.

Digital payments company Paytm, owned by One 97 Communications, will pay 3.27 billion rupees ($45.78 million) for the 2019-23 period to the BCCI, which is the richest national cricket board in the world.

The winning bid was 38 million rupees (about $532,000) for every match compared to 24 million rupees that Paytm paid in 2015 to win the rights then.

“We are excited to continue our long-term association with BCCI and the Indian Cricket Team,” Paytm Chief Executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in a statement.

“Our commitment to Indian Cricket gets stronger with every season. India loves cricket and we at Paytm are the biggest fans of it.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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