Indian Premier League chairman Rajeev Shukla has stated that he will not be present for the media rights auction scheduled to be held in Mumbai on September 4.
This comes after the allegations that suggested that BAG Films, an entertainment company owned by Shukla’s wife Anuradha Prasad has a partnership with Star Sports which might create a conflict of interest. The broadcaster is one of the potential bidders in the auction and is considered to be leading the race for media rights.
Shukla has reportedly intimated the BCCI top brass about his decision and that he has taken the decision so as to ensure the smooth functioning of the auctions in the wake of conflict of interest allegations against him.
“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,” Shukla is quoted as saying by PTI.
“I have heard that someone has said that he will file an application in court about 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,” Shukla added.
The rights are being has been termed as windfall for the BCCI with estimated earnings to go as high as Rs 20,000 crore. However, various industry experts have opinionated it to be around Rs 12,000 crore- Rs 18,000 crore.
The BCCI for the first time is also live stream the media rights auction on iplt20.com or bcci.tv or both. There are three categories — TV broadcast, mobile and digital rights that the major companies will be vying for.
A total of 24 companies have picked the tender document for the most precious media rights, including the likes of Star India, Amazon Seller Services, Followon Interactive Media, Taj TV India, Sony Pictures Networks, Times Internet, Supersport International, Reliance Jio Digital, Gulf DTH FZ LLC, GroupM Media, beIN, Econet Media, SKY UK, ESPN Digital Media, BTG Legal Services, BT PLC, Twitter, Facebook Inc., Yupp TV, Discovery Sports, Yahoo, Airtel, BAMTech and DAZN/Perform Group.
Monday, September 4 is the last date to submit sealed bids with the BCCI. The bids are set to be opened the same day and the winner will be announced.