A momentous transformation in the realm of sports broadcasting might be on the horizon for India. Experts have stated that the addition of cricket to the Olympics might considerably improve the value of Olympic broadcast rights in the country. 

Currently estimated at £15.6 million ( 159 crore) for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the value might witness a tenfold jump, possibly exceeding a stunning £150 million ( 1,527 crore), The Guardian said. LiveMint could not independently verify the numbers.

This skyrocketing value is attributed to cricket’s massive appeal in India, with the sport being played at the Olympic level for the first time since its solo showing in 1900. Back then, only one match was played between England and France. However, the future inclusion promises to showcase the popular T20 format for both men and women.

The International Cricket Council (ICC), under the chairmanship of Greg Barclay, voiced its elation at the possibility of cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics. Barclay mentioned that, while the recommendation for cricket’s inclusion at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was a major milestone, the final word was yet to be out. Anyway, cricket enthusiasts are already speculating about the sport’s continuity, expecting its retention for the Brisbane Games in 2032.

“We are delighted that LA28 have recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics. While this is not the final decision, it is a very significant landmark towards seeing cricket at the Olympics for the first time in more than a century,” the publication quoted him as saying.

The proposal for cricket’s inclusion came from the organisers of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Cricket finds itself in the good company of other sports like baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse and squash, LiveMint earlier reported while citing ESPNcricinfo.

All these sports have been highlighted for their possible addition to the LA28 Games. This suggestion, however, awaits the final nod from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is set to deliberate on the matter during its executive board meeting scheduled in Mumbai on October 14-15.

Casey Wasserman, the LA28’s chairperson, highlighted the global appeal of these sports. Wasserman emphasised their relevance and innovative nature. These sports, according to him, are played across varied venues – from backyards and schoolyards to grand stadiums, not just in the US but across the world.

Read the original report by The Guardian HERE.

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Updated: 10 Oct 2023, 09:32 AM IST

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