IPL broadcast rights: Monopoly for Star India, windfall for BCCI
Deccan Chronicle| Soumo Ghosh
This 5-year deal is worth almost double the amount that Sony paid for a decade-long IPL broadcast rights (Rs 8,200) from 2008 to 2017.
Star India acquired monopoly over the broadcast rights of IPL across both TV and digital media. (Photo: BCCI)
Mumbai: Star India stole a march over its competitors, earning the broadcast rights for cricket’s most lucrative product, the Indian Premier League (IPL), with a whopping bid of Rs 16,347.5 crore for a period of five years.
This five-year deal is worth almost double the amount that Sony paid for a decade-long IPL broadcast right (Rs 8,200 crore) from 2008 to 2017.
The media giant for the cash-rich tournament earned the rights for IPL broadcast in both India and global sectors, on both the TV and the digital mediums.
Interestingly, Star’s cumulative bid across all sectors (Rs 16,347.5 crore) was higher than the summation of all the highest bids across all sectors by all the bidders.
Sony, which had held the broadcast rights for the T20 tournament, had, in fact, placed a bid of Rs 11,050 crores for TV broadcast in India alone, while Star had bid just Rs 6,196.94 crore in that sector.
Speaking after the auction, Star India CEO Uday Shankar stressed on how competitive the bids were. "When one person bids very highly, then you can ask questions. But you’ve seen that in every category it has been so competitive. There are three digital rights that went for more than Rs 3,000 crore," said Shankar.
He also outlined how important the digital medium has become for the sports broadcasting industry. Shankar stated, "Digital did not even exist 10 years ago. This should tell you that cricket is very attractive in this country. Whoever spends that money, puts it because they believe in the fans of that sport.
"India, cricket, and IPL have changed dramatically over the last 10 years. It’s a reflection of that," he further said.
Interestingly though, BCCI was expecting a bigger windfall from the auction. "Although this is a large sum, we had been expecting an amount of around Rs 20,000 crore for the IPL broadcast rights," said BCCI treasurer, on the sidelines of the auction.
A total of 24 firms made an appearance at the auctions on Monday, but as many as 10 of them refrained from placing their bids. Among the major players that did not place their bids were the likes of Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd, Sky UK Ltd, BT Sport, Twitter, Discovery, and Yahoo.
Out of the 14 bids that were placed in the first phase of the auction, BAM Tech’s was the only one that was rejected after the audit screening.
The 13 accepted bids came from Star, Sony, BeIN, Super Sport, Follow On, Yup TV, Times Internet, OSN, Facebook, Airtel, Econet, Perform Group and Reliance Jio.
Out of the 14 firms, whose bids were accepted, only BeIN was exempted from disclosing the financial statements, as Qatar laws do not permit them to do so.