ICC sacks me­dia rights head over ra­dio, FB deals

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Times­group.com

Mum­bai: The In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) has sacked its me­dia rights head — broad­cast and dig­i­tal — with im­me­di­ate ef­fect. While there’s no of­fi­cial word out yet from the game’s global govern­ing body, the chat­ter sur­round­ing the se­nior ex­ec­u­tive’s exit sug­gests it has to do with how the ra­dio rights were han­dled dur­ing the 2019 ICC World Cup and re­cent dig­i­tal rights deal with so­cial net­work gi­ant Face­book. Aarti Dabas, the head of ICC’s me­dia rights, had been as­so­ci­ated with the Dubai-based par­ent body for a decade now and is learnt to have put in her pa­pers this week. TOI un­der­stands that ICC’s broad­cast rights part­ner, Star In­dia Pvt Ltd, had con­veyed to the for­mer their dis­con­tent over Face­book be­ing brought on board. The Face­book deal aside, the pro­duc­tion of the world feed (ra­dio rights) had stopped right in the mid­dle of the World Cup due to a series of re­lated con­tro­ver­sies and sto­ries of non-pay­ment of rights money do­ing the rounds.

TOI had re­ported the same on July 13. “The ra­dio rights con­tro­versy was an ab­so­lute em­bar­rass­ment for the ICC, the way it played out. There was go­ing to be some in­tro­spec­tion. Play­ers from Aus­tralia and all over were flown to Lon­don and then not given any work be­cause noth­ing was mov­ing for­ward,” say sources privy to de­vel­op­ments.

Mean­while, of­fi­cials at Star and ICC re­mained un­avail­able for com­ment as far as the Face­book deal is con­cerned. Sources said: “Some­where, mat­ters were bound to fly out of hand. At a time when you have a big me­dia part­ner on board and when you’re think­ing of open­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with your me­dia part­ner on the fu­ture rights cy­cle, how can it au­gur well to bring an­other player into the room?”

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