BCCI has confirmed as many as 20 interests for the IPL media rights.
The heat for the Indian Premier League is intensifying by the day. With still one week to go for the closure of the IPL bid documents sale, 20 RFPs have already been sold. “Till date (end of the day Wednesday) 20 bid documents are sold. There are more inquiries,” a BCCI spokesperson told Insidesport.co
The sale of IPL bid documents will close on August 24, Thursday. August 28 is the last date to submit closed bids, which will be opened the same day and the winner will be announced.
Television and digital rights are being auctioned separately for the India territory, whereas combined bids are invited for the other international markets.
Sony Pictures Network Limited had held the TV rights till the 10th season, which also saw the end of the first 10-year cycle of IPL media rights. Sony will be bidding aggressively to retain its hottest sports property.
STAR India, whose digital platform Hotstar had held the digital rights, is to be the other hot contender. However, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch has hinted that STAR India will make a “sensible” bid for the rights. The company would be fiscally prudent to acquire new rights in order to not to upset its near-term and long-term targets of achieving $500 million EBITDA by 2018 and $1 billion by 2020.
Twenty media houses and digital players to have acquired the documents include Sony, Star, Reliance, Supersports, Times Internet, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Reliance Jio and Discovery.
The BCCI had to indefinitely scrap the bidding process initiated in September last year as there was no clarity on tender process from the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel. The rights then were up for grabs for a 10-year cycle. However, the revised tender is for a five-year period from 2018 to 2022.
The IPL Media rights for the first 10-year cycle were acquired by the Singapore-based World Sports Group in 2008 for $918 million. The contract last only for a year, with Sony Pictures Network Limited committing $1.63 billion over the next nine years. In the 2017 edition, the last year of the Sony contract, the broadcaster has earned Rs 1,300 crores from ad sales.
Digital player Hotstar, which paid Rs 3.2 crore for a the three year (2015-2017) cycle has sold ad inventory worth Rs 150 crores in the last season.
The BCCI has got an unprecedented Rs 2,200 crore form the Vivo mobile for a five-year period, which was more than a 400% escalation on the previous successful bid and 267% more than the Rs 120 crore base price set by the BCCI.
The media rights might not see that kind of an inflation in values, but market forces believe the numbers will be awe inspiring.