International sports broadcaster ESPN has sought a record INR6 billion (US$133 million) terror and weather insurance cover for the 2011 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, which begins on 19 February, reports The Times of India.
This is three times the INR2 billion cover for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi last year.
State-owned New India Assurance and General Insurance Corporation (GIC Re) are said to have been approached for insurance support. The stakes for the broadcaster are very high because the matches are being held in a region prone to terror attacks. Also, India is expected to move onto the final stages of the Cup. Furthermore, the World Cup is, for the first time, being broadcast in high definition and will be available through mobile streaming.
According to top insurance industry officials, the cost of cover is expected to be in the region of INR75-80 million. This involves only the broadcaster’s interests, which is the loss it will incur in advertising revenue should a match be cancelled. The overall cost of insuring the event would be higher if one were to take into account the premium to be paid by the organisers in each country and by individual sponsors.
ESPN is seen as unwilling to take any chances after the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai in 2008 led to the cancellation of the Champions League cricket tournament.
Insurance for broadcasters cannot be provided from the Indian Terrorism Pool — a collective fund formed by all nonlife insurers — because that covers only property.