April 3 will add a new leaf to the commercial chapter of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The BCCI on Tuesday will sell the media rights of the international and domestic matches to be hosted by it in India over the next five years – from April 2018 to March 2023. This will be the first occasion when the media rights of a sports property will be sold via an e-auction.
The date for the e-auction was extended by a week from the original schedule of March 27 as the bidders had a number of queries on the process. While BCCI is finally ready to set the ball rolling to decide the host broadcaster for the cricket hosted by the BCCI over the next five years, it will be interesting to understand the process, properties and commercials.
Incumbent Star India and Sony Pictures Network Limited are the only broadcasters to buy the bid documents, thus making it only a two-horse race for the television rights. Facebook, Google, Jio Infocomm and Yupp TV are the digital players expected to join the bid process, while Hotstar is going to be the part of Star India’s bid strategy.
The stage for the e-auction will be set by 10 AM on Tuesday with the submission of the technical bids. The real action starts at 2 PM when the eligible bidder goes live with their offers. Since all the bidders have an option to place their bids live, the auction may just start at the base price, which given the number of matches in the FTP over the next five years can be as low as ₹ 4,134 crores for an expected number of 102 games. This needs to be the basic bid value for the consolidated global rights package.
The BCCI has kept the consolidated base price @ ₹ 43 crores and ₹ 40 crore – for the first year and the remaining four years respectively. The bid increments are allowed at a minimum of ₹ 25 crores for the consolidated bids, ₹ 20 crores for the TV rights’ bids and ₹ 5 crores for the digital rights bids. The bidders, during the e-auction process, will be able to see every offer live online. They, however, will not be able to establish the identity of the bidders. The bidders will only be revealed after the bid process is over.
Even as the initial live bid process is scheduled for one hour, if an incremental bid is placed after 50 minutes into that hour, the bidding time will be extended by an hour. The process may be stretched into April 4 if the final bid is not ascertained.
The BCCI, after livestreaming the Indian Premier League media rights tender process, with the e-auction process has yet again made the domestic media rights bid an interesting event to look forward to.