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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Taxing The Broadcast Cherry

A miffed ICC might relocate events from India if not given a tax break. But can it spurn its golden goose?

Taxing The Broadcast Cherry
Sporting Matters | Photograph by Getty Images
Taxing The Broadcast Cherry
outlookindia.com
2018-02-24T11:28:41+05:30

In 2013, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had allotted India three major global tournaments—the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, the 2021 World Test Championship (this proposed competition was ­later replaced by Champions Trophy), and the 50-over World Cup in 2023. ­India successfully hosted the 2016 World Twenty20, which the West Ind­ies won. But now are the Champions Trophy, and more importantly, the World Cup, slipping away from­ India’s grasp? There is some uncertainty about these tournaments after the ICC recently decided to look for alternate venues, at least for the 2021 Champions Trophy. There is also the Asia Cup, which could be held in India this year, in danger of being rel­ocated, probably to Dubai.

But why would the ICC not hold its prestigious tournaments in the most luc­rative market for cricket? The reason is an ongoing tussle between the world cricket body and the Indian gover­nment on taxation: The ICC wants full tax exe­mption; the government so far is not budging. Even for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, the government had not exe­mpted tax for the ICC’s official media rights holder, STAR India and STAR Middle East, and had deducted 10 per cent tax at source (Tax Deducted at Sou­rce, or TDS) from the broadcaster’s rev­enues generated from the tournament.

Before the India-vs-Pakistan World T20 match at the Eden Gardens, 2016

Photograph by Alamy

Now, the ICC is once again making an effort to get full tax exemption. Its officials have reportedly met top-ranking Indian finance officials—to no avail, so far. At a recent meeting of the ICC Board, its members expressed...

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