In spite of repeated warnings, the BCCI decided to award STAR India with the television rights for the Indian Premier League.
STAR signed a five-year contract for an incredible 16,347.5 crores. Now with the IPL in their kitty as well, STAR has pretty much become the single entity for sports broadcasting in the country.
Top boss Uday Shankar has spoken about how STAR will strictly focus only on cricket and nothing else. In a subtle dig to previous broadcasters, Shankar also hinted that the dancing girls won’t be highlighted as much as they were done earlier.
“You have seen on STAR Sports (that) our focus is strictly on the sport. We believe that the spotlight should be on the sport and we will continue to do that… I am not commenting on what anybody else does,” Shankar told to Hindustan Times.
“Our BCCI rights get over in less than six months and the Indian team, over the next few years, is going to be traveling abroad so much, and we don’t have the England and Australian board rights. With IPL, we have a breather,” said Shankar.
“If it (our figures) were slightly less, we would not have got the rights. We won by a really narrow margin of 2-3 per cent, so we were very close (in predicting the right value of IPL),” the STAR chief said.
“Whatever controversies might have been, they have been there all the time, but the IPL has gone on to become bigger and bigger. It is for the news media, we are a sports broadcaster.”