The Indian cricket Board’s plans to finalise the IPL broadcast rights deal have been shelved after the Justice RM Lodha panel declined to give a go-ahead unless the sports body agreed to the reforms process ordered by the Supreme Court.
The IPL media rights’ bid submission was scheduled for Tuesday. But the Lodha panel on Monday replied to the BCCI’s letter seeking clarifications, saying “before the committee proceeds to issue any directions, it would need to satisfy itself that the BCCI administration is willing to comply with the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 21.10.2016.”
The panel was responding to BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke’s letter seeking approval on the bid submission. The SC had on Friday ruled that all major BCCI contracts will need the Lodha panel’s approval.
The BCCI confirmed the process has been deferred. Some bidding companies also told HT: “Informally, we have been informed it’s not going to happen tomorrow.”
The IPL global media rights tender comprises broadcast, mobile and internet, and 18 companies, including Facebook and Twitter, had purchased the tender documents.
These companies said “it’s very confusing to us now” how the stand-off between the SC and BCCI would pan out. But they are unconcerned by the process getting deferred. There are still two years for the current broadcast deal to end, a point raised by Lodha committee secretary, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, in his reply to Shirke.
The panel has sought clarification on the dates of expiry of the previous contract. “When does the next ten-year rights period commence?” it asked.
In its order on Friday, the Apex Court directed the BCCI president and secretary to file an affidavit on those recommendations that have been complied with, the manner of compliance and steps adopted to comply with the remaining recommendations.
The October 21 order also asks Anurag Thakur and Shirke to appear before the panel within two weeks to explain the manner of compliance.
“Before the Committee proceeds to issue any directions, it would need to satisfy itself that the BCCI administration is willing to comply with the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 21.10.2016. In this regard, the committee requires a letter of compliance from the president BCCI duly undertaking on behalf of the BCCI to unreservedly comply with the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 21.10.2016,” Sankaranarayanan’s letter said.