The Indian Premier League has made headlines again with the auctions. We have seen IPL Auctions in the past but this was one of its kind. This time it was not players who went under the hammer but the media rights were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Star Sports won the rights to telecast IPL for next five years for whooping Rs.16,347 crores!
The media rights auction was on BCCI’s agenda since September 2016. However the Committee of Administrators (CoA) found it wise to put the plans on hold for few months before it finally took place in September 2017.
Companies were asked to place their bids for seven categories namely, India television, India digital, US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and rest of the world.
There were 24 Corporate giants that picked up tender document namely Star India, Sony Pictures Networks, Reliance Jio Digital, Followon Interactive Media, Amazon Seller Services Times Internet, EcoNet Media, ESPN Digital Media, Supersport International, Gulf DTH FZ LLC, beIN, SKY UK, BT PLC, Twitter, Facebook Inc, GroupM Media, BamTech, YuppTV, Discovery, Oath (Yahoo), Airtel, DAZN Perform Group, BTG Legal Services and Taj TV India.
Among these, Sony Pictures and Star India, SuperSport, Yupp TV, Econet, OSM (Gulf DTH), Airtel, Reliance Jio, Times internet, Facebook had submitted all the necessary documents and were qualified.
BamTech was disqualified following their failure to submit relevant documents on time and BeIn Sports’ participation was put on hold because of their inability to submit financial statements and would have been valid on the receipt of an email wherein they explain that government regulations have stopped them from providing the relevant document.
The winner was eventually the Star India who bought the rights for 16347 crores.
IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla did not mark his presence at the all important event. He quoted, “Yes I have decided to recuse myself from the IPL media rights auctions and hence I will not be present in Mumbai on September 4. I have heard that someone has said that he will file an application in the Court of my alleged Conflict of Interest despite getting a clean chit from former BCCI ombudsman Justice Retired AP Shah. I want BCCI’s auction process to go on smoothly and that’s why I have decided to stay away despite having no conflict of interest.”
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri quoted, “The auction could produce historic numbers. While I am not in a position to predict numbers, our primary focus is to deliver a transparent and robust bidding process for each and every stakeholder.”
He said that this time the tenure is deliberately kept 5 years because a decade is too long, considering dynamic global market. “A period of 10 years was too long a period from a buyer’s perspective as well as seller’s perspective. In an ever changing world, a decade is a very long period which restricts the property (IPL) from growing. Now we have digital rights for five years. Currently, digital feed (live streaming) is a delayed but we don’t know now scenario will change after five years.”said Johri.
In 2008 Sony won the IPL media rights for a period of 10 years with a bid of Rs 8200 crore. The global digital rights of IPL for a period of three years was awarded to Novi Digital in 2015 for 302.2 crore.