Chennai: During the one-month purchase window between September 19 and October 18, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has sold 18 tender documents for IPL – Indian Premier League media rights. Some media experts observe that the transaction is tilted in favor of television broadcasters. BCCI’s response to queries from bidders triggered controversy.
As per the tender format, separate bids would have to be made for the three buckets into which media rights have been divided: Television broadcast rights for the Indian subcontinent, India digital rights and International media rights.
The Times of India reported that BCCI changed the bidding dynamics to allow consolidated bids across TV, Digital and International and hence the likely winners are Star and Sony, the only players interested to bid for television broadcast rights which is the largest component. The change in the bidding dynamics will make it difficult for the digital or international bidders to compete for those rights.
Twitter, Amazon and Reliance Jio among the social media sites and OSN, ESPN and Sky Sports among the television channels are interested for the international rights.
According to a BCCI official, those making consolidated bids would also have to spell out their bids for each of the three buckets. But people familiar with the bidding process said this was irrelevant as the sum of the bids for the three buckets need not equal the consolidated bid as per the bidding rules.
This may result in irrelevant interpretation in separate bids. People familiar with the bidding process also said that BCCI reserved the right to pick either the consolidated bid or the separate bids. BCCI officials could not be reached for comment on this issue.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur had voiced: ‘This is going to be a historical moment for Indian cricket. I am pleased to see the overwhelming response from media and technology companies for IPL media rights. With the global trend of showcasing content on multiple platforms becoming increasingly important — TV, Internet and mobile rights are up for grabs together this time. To have as many as 18 prospective bidders in the fray reinstates the faith of market forces in Indian Premier League.”
Ajay Shirke, secretary, added, “This is a significant step for the Board, and we are excited to have 18 prospective bidders for IPL media rights. Our intention is to ensure the most comprehensive coverage of IPL across the globe.”
Between 2018 and 2027, the Indian sub-continent television rights are on offer for 10 IPL seasons while India Digital Rights and rest of the world are for 5 IPL seasons each between 2018 and 2022.