BCCI Lumps Women's Matches Under 'Other Series' Category in Media Rights Auction
By: WE Staff | Friday, 11 August 2023
The BCCI's media rights auction for India's home matches in the 2023-27 cycle has sparked controversy as women's matches are not offered a separate package. Unlike men's matches, women's matches have been included in the 'other series' category, raising concerns about gender equity in cricket broadcasting.
The auction for media rights, a highly anticipated event in India akin to a festival, saw Disney Star and Viacom18 secure Television and Digital rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 16th edition. The television rights were sold for INR 48,390 crore, while the digital rights went for INR 20,500 crore.
However, when it comes to India's home matches, the scenario is different. The BCCI has bundled women's matches under the 'other series' category, along with domestic fixtures like the Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, and various other tournaments. This grouping also includes men's A teams, women's international matches, and all age group teams' matches.
The move has sparked conversations around equitable treatment for women's cricket, as the auction lacks a dedicated package for women's matches. This grouping raises concerns about the visibility and promotion of women's cricket in India, especially as the sport gains popularity and recognition.
Viacom18, on the other hand, has secured media rights for India's three-match T20I series against Ireland. While no official statement has been released, reports suggest that the matches will be broadcasted on Sports18 and Jio Cinema. JioCinema has also acquired the media rights for the series against West Indies and is reportedly aiming to secure both television and digital rights for the upcoming cycle.
The controversy surrounding the media rights auction highlights the need for equal representation and recognition of women's cricket. The decision to group women's matches under 'other series' raises questions about the BCCI's commitment to fostering gender equality in cricket broadcasting. As cricket continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Indians, it's crucial to ensure that both men's and women's matches receive equal attention and opportunities in the media landscape.
As the cricket community closely watches developments, discussions about the need for gender-inclusive strategies within the sport's administration and media representation are gaining momentum. The inclusion of women's cricket in major media rights auctions should reflect the progress and potential of the game as a whole, emphasizing equality and fairness in every aspect.