New Delhi: Having won the bid to broadcast the Indian Premier League (IPL), Star India and Prasar Bharati, have amicably concluded the negotiations. Both parties agreed to the terms, after months of negotiations, and it has reached a successful conclusion.
Reliable sources say that, both the parties will be sharing the revenue generated From advertising, equally, which will result in a big win for the public broadcaster. With feed that will be delayed by over 60 minutes, Star India has agreed to share the telecast of select matches with Doordarshan.
On Thursday a consensus was reached by Star India and Prasar Bharati on after intense bargain for of I&B ministry officials which lasted for few months.
While the company had reached an agreement, it should be seen as “supportive to the public broadcaster, and not borne out of any legal mandate on the private broadcaster, nor can it be treated as precedence.” said Star India officials
A senior Star India executive commented “IPL is club cricket. While it is popular, it cannot be categorized as an event of national importance. Hence, it was left entirely to the free will of Star India. They (government officials) wanted all the matches to be shared, which we thought was excessive, We understand that while the public broadcaster has a role to play, IPL rights are very expensive, and sharing it indiscriminately on the Prasar Bharati platform will destroy the value completely.”
The Ministry officials, consider this deal as a victory to the government to get the world’s biggest and most high-profile T20 tournament aired on Doordarshan screens, along with successfully negotiating to receive half of the advertising revenue.
According to a source “As per the Prasar Bharati Act, the public broadcaster would have received only about a fourth of the total revenue. However, there was a feeling that Prasar Bharati was being short changed, given its huge infrastructure costs. It has to recover its variable expenses, and thereby, the need for a greater share of revenue generated,”
In September last year, Star India had won the television and digital, Indian and global media rights to IPL for the next five seasons, paying Rs 16,347.50 crore. Until 2017, Sony Pictures Networks had held the television broadcasting rights of IPL for 10 years (since 2008). In the recent bidding process after facing a stiff competition, Star India had bagged the worldwide rights to Indian cricket for a period of five years, for a whooping Rs 6,138 crore. The company now holds the two most lucrative broadcast rights in the game.
Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempatti expressed his gratitude to I&B minister Smriti Irani through a tweet on Thursday evening, which reads “This brings IPL 2018 content to Doordarshan for the first time.”
Star officials also said, according to the agreement with Prasar Bharati the private broadcaster has agreed to give the play offs, the last four matches and the opening match of the tournament, with a deferred feed of at least 60 minutes. “Since the tournament is long and we were giving them playoffs after the inaugural, we will also give them the 8 pm Sunday match every week on the same 60 minute deferred basis” an official said.
As part of its discussions with Prasar Bharati, Star India had offered a 60 minutes delay in telecast of the IPL matches on DD Free Dish and terrestrial platforms, a condition that the private broadcaster was not willing to budge on right till the end. While this deferred telecast condition was initially unacceptable to the public broadcaster, but given its success in negotiating for a greater share of the total revenue expected to be generated, it has now acceded to this requirement.
A government source said, “Prasar Bharati’s strategy, which has been supported by the ministry this time was driven by a need to move From regulatory-led negotiation, to a more business-driven one, designed to ensure that the government gets a better deal,”
DD’s direct-to-home platform has an estimated 2 crore subscribers, and we will have to wait and see if the private broadcaster’s demand for excluding DD’s free dish users From the target audience, is fulfilled. The national broadcaster on selling the event to advertisers, will share the proceeds among the two.
Star had earlier contended that cable TV operators were getting live feeds through DD channels free of cost, resulting in loss of revenue for them. A senior official in the government said for the cash- and content-starved DD, this would be a great deal. Recently, the government had refused to waive off its spectrum charges of over 1,200 crores, which is also seen as one of the reasons why it insisted on getting a better deal From Star this time.