In the next bilateral season, broadcasting India’s women’s games would not incur any additional expenditures. The domestic tournaments organised by the BCCI—the Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, Duleep Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, among others—are included in the ‘Other Series’ category alongside the women’s international matches. According to the ITT, which is considered the Mt. Rushmore of media rights tenders, “the term ‘Other Series’ shall also include Women’s International Matches.”
“In addition, the ‘Other Series’ shall include (i) all men’s A team matches, women’s international matches, women’s teams and all age group teams (men and women) of India and any other country/territory, as well as all warm-up/practice matches organised by BCCI for such teams from any other country/territory; (ii) all practice/warm-up cricket matches organised by BCCI and played in India by a Visiting Team prior to any
This may seem to be a continuation of BCCI’s current regulations at first look, but women’s cricket has been carving out a unique niche in recent years. The BCCI was able to rake in an amazing Rs 951 crore through the sale of media rights to the Women’s Premier League (WPL) last year. The International Cricket Council (ICC) promised persistent promotion of women’s matches and even provided a special package for them.
There is still some degree of identification of women’s internationals and the Women’s Big Bash League within the Australian domestic market, despite the fact that Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board, which prioritise women’s games more than their counterparts in other countries, bundle all games together for international markets.
The visibility of women’s sports has increased in recent years, in line with the growing interest among spectators, albeit not quite matching the following for men’s cricket. The historic agreement for the WPL rights is indicative of this pattern. The growing prominence of women’s sports is more important than any potential discomfort that rival broadcasters may feel from BCCI’s plan to combine coverage of men’s and women’s events.
Including seven Tests, 135 One-Day Internationals, and 159 Twenty20 Internationals, the Women’s FTP produced by the ICC last year details almost 300 international women’s games throughout the globe. Over the next three years, India’s women will play host to New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and the West Indies in bilateral women’s cricket matches.
However, the rights holders will not have to pay anything to watch women’s international matches since the BCCI is only interested in the monetary worth of media rights for men’s games. It’s not only about broadcasters getting free access to women’s international matches or about pairing or decoupling women’s matches from men’s. A broadcaster who bid on media rights on August 31 said, “It’s about the bigger picture, which is the progress of women’s cricket.”