BCCI has played a master stroke on calls to make the IPL media rights tender process transparent. The Board of Control for Cricket in India for the first time will live stream the tender opening process as the bids for the Indian Premier League media rights will be decided on Monday.
Twenty four entities – including top contenders Sony and Star – have bought the tender documents. September 4, Monday, is the last date to submit the bids. The winner will be decided the same day
Arrangements are being made to ensure that the auction proceedings are streamed live on the BCCI websites, Pune Mirror has reported quoting the BCCI sources. Whether it will be on bcci.tv or iplt20.com or both is yet to be decided.
The Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniam Swamy had moved the Supreme Court to seek an order in favor of e-auction of the IPL media rights. He had argued that e-auction process will restore transparency in allocation of this extremely valuable media rights property. BCCI had challenged the contention and the apex court had ruled in the board’s favour, allowing it to go ahead with the conventional process to decide the media rights bids.
In major two shifts from the first IPL rights tender process 10 years ago, the rights this time are being auctioned for a five year cycle (2018-2022). Unlike the earlier occasion when the rights were sold for India and overseas territories, the board has put on sale rights for seven territories. Indian television rights is the most precious property.
Meanwhile, the BCCI CEO has also stated that the IPL is the biggest media property, adding to the assumption that the tender will fetch an unprecedented extremely high bounty for the board. Star Sports and Sony TV are two main players in fray, who might get some competition for the new player in market – Discovery Media-backed D-Sport. A foreign consortium intensifying the battle for one of the hottest sports properties is another major speculation.
Tender conditions make it mandatory for the digital players to delay the stream by five minutes. Whereas 80% of the composite bid value is allocated to the broadcast rights, this equation heavily turns the bid in broadcasters’ favour and has a strong potential to limit the number of eventual bids from two to three as has been the case with most of the BCCI tenders.
There tender conditions cast an obligation on the bidders for television rights holders to broadcast the feed in at least three languages, which includes at least one regional language. That gives Star and Sony an added advantage.
The bid process will take place at a luxury hotel in South Mumbai.