BCCI invites 10-year tender for IPL subcontinent TV rights from 2018 | cricket | Hindustan Times
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BCCI invites 10-year tender for IPL subcontinent TV rights from 2018

The Indian cricket board invited fresh bids on Sunday for the Indian Premier League (IPL) broadcast rights, announcing that it would sell the lucrative subcontinent segment to a single bidder for 10 years starting 2018.

cricket Updated: Sep 19, 2016 08:18 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
BCCI president, Anurag Thakur, and CEO, Rahul Johri told a media conference that the subcontinent TV rights will be up for 10 years and the digital component for five years.(Reuters)

The Indian cricket announced a fresh bidding process for the lucrative Indian Premier League media rights on Sunday, with current rights holders Sony also required to bid afresh.

Sony has telecast the glitzy IPL since inception and the deal will end with the tenth edition in 2017. The BCCI has invited 10-year bids for the biggest component of the rights deal, TV rights for the subcontinent.

While the digital component, open to broadcasters, Internet as well as mobile operators, will be up for five years, the BCCI, in a bid to ramp up revenue from its biggest grosser has invited separate TV and digital bids for overseas.

BCCI president Anurag Thakur said the production will be with it. The bids will open on Monday with the document available for a tender fee of $10,000 (approx `6.8 lakh).

The cricket board, though reluctant to implement the Justice RM Lodha panel’s Supreme Court-empowered reforms in total, has said the open bidding was to ensure ‘transparency’ in the process as insisted by the report.

However, the fresh bids would give Star India, which holds the rights for Indian cricket as well as the rights for the International Cricket Council’s matches until 2023, a massive chance to add the IPL broadcast rights as well to its kitty.

The bidding process will be completed and the winner announced on October 25. It will be interesting to see to what extent Sony and Star push up their bids, which will be known when the process is completed on that day.

It remains to be seen whether Sony contest the BCCI decision and seek legal redress, although it is likely to be deterred by the clause which blacklists companies which have filed a case against the board.

The World Sports Group originally bagged the IPL rights in 2008 for 10 years, paying $918 million. The next year, the contract was replaced when Sony, through Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd $1.63 billion for broadcasting rights for the next nine years.

The BCCI has also called for separate bids for overseas rights, TV and digital, segregating them into six territories, looking to maximise its revenue. That will be for five years.

The bidder’s will have to submit separate envelopes, to assess eligibility and financial bid. The financial bids of only those bidders meeting the eligibility criteria will be opened, board CEO, Rahul Johri, said.

However, the BCCI has left room to leverage the bids as it may not necessarily award the rights to the highest bidders. Johri, during a presentation, said the BCCI’s financial advisors will have the final say after assessing the value the bids bring. The bid announcement comes three days ahead of the BCCI AGM. It remains to be seen whether the Lodha panel raises any objections to the process set in motion by the board.