BCCI broadcast rights e-auction: Battlelines drawn to showcase Indian cricket
Sony have lost Indian Premier League (IPL) rights to Star, but their strategy of bagging rights of all other top boards (total seven so far) means they already have India’s away matches in their bag. ights BCCI broadcast rights will be sold via e-auction will be for a five-year period till March 31, 2023cricket Updated: Apr 02, 2018 22:22 IST
With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) managing to get a record-breaking deal of Rs 16,347.5 crore ($2.55 billion) for Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights, expectations of another windfall are high as the broadcast and digital rights for India’s international and domestic matches go up for sale on Tuesday.
The rights to be sold via e-auction will be for a five-year period till March 31, 2023.
The main battle is expected to be again between Star India and Sony Pictures Network, though there are strong contenders like Jio Infocomm, Facebook and Google who could steal the show with their bidding for the digital rights. Yupp TV is also in the fray.
Sony have lost IPL rights to Star, but their strategy of bagging rights of all other top boards (total seven so far) means they already have India’s away matches in their bag. India’s recent Test series in South Africa was a huge hit.
But both the big players are under pressure. Having lost IPL rights, Sony are playing catch-up with Star. Star, on the other hand, are looking for better products for the rest of the year, a period during which Sony will be broadcasting the FIFA World Cup.
JIO SURPRISE PACKAGE
However, Sony and Star could face stiff competition if Reliance’s Jio decides to pitch in for a consolidated bid. Apart from its digital platform, Reliance has started showing sports on MTV, where the League Cup final between Manchester City and Arsenal was aired recently.
Rights are provided in three packages — global television rights plus rest of the world digital rights; digital rights for the Indian subcontinent; and a global consolidated rights bid. The base price for global television rights plus digital rights package has been set at Rs 33 crore while the Indian subcontinent digital rights package stands at a base price of Rs 7 crore and it’s Rs 40 crore for the global consolidated rights package.
Equal interest is on how the digital rights bidding will play out with some experts saying it may overshadow the battle for TV rights.
In the IPL media rights auction, Facebook, Reliance Jio and Airtel had bid over Rs 3,000 crore each for the digital rights alone, which means they will all be ready to pay through their noses to grab this.
Reliance Jio and Facebook will be serious players for the digital rights but with Star equally focused on Hotstar, it will be an engrossing bidding war.
A FIRST BY BCCI
It’s BCCI’s first e-auction of media rights and speculation is rife about the kind of money BCCI could make.
Detractors feel BCCI should not have departed from its traditional sealed tender documentation process. Hence, there will be ptressure on BCCI decision-makers to land a bigger deal than last time when Star TV paid ~3851 crore in 2012 for 96 matches.
While the process is expected to be more transparent, it is ultimately the value of the deal that is going to decide whether the Vinod Rai-led BCCI got it right by going for the e-auction.