Around 20 institutions have reportedly shown active interest in the media rights of Indian Premier League (IPL) by buying the bidding documents for the auction. iAmazon Seller Services, the e-commerce entity of Amazon, Reliance Jio Digital Services, Twitter, Facebook, ESPN Digital Media (India), Times Internet, GroupM, Yupp TV and Discovery, besides both Star India and Sony Pictures Networks have bought the bidding documents.
With a week still left for the deadline to purchase the bidding documents, it needs to be seen who else will be participating. August 28 has been blocked as the last date for submission of the bids by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Tenders will be opened on the same day following which the results will be declared.
Discovery Networks confirmed the development. It makes sense for the network to buy the bid documents as it ventured into sports with the launch of its own sports channel. It launched DSPORT last February for the Indian subcontinent, where itâs trying to bring over 4,000 live sports content from across the globe.
The BCCI had already begun the bidding process in September, 2016 but had to suspend it indefinitely because the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel had not responded to BCCIâs queries about the tenders. This caused a delay of 10 months before BCCI restarted its bidding process on July 21, offering the television and digital sector the media rights of IPL.
According to a media report, media rights for television and digital are being auctioned separately for India, while in the case of international markets like the US and Europe, the rights have been clubbed together.
The auction has already generated so much interest that some of the players who do not even have broadcasting operations at the moment are keen on starting.
It has to be pointed out that instead of a 10-year period, the media rights for the league will be given for five years, from 2018 to 2022. Sony Pictures Network had held the leagueâs rights earlier. Singapore-based World Sports Group bought media rights for IPL for a period of 10 years by paying $918 million in 2008. However, the contract was replaced in 2009 and SPN paid $1.63 billion to acquire broadcasting rights for nine years. In the IPLâs ninth edition, SPN earned Rs. 1300 crore in advertising revenues.
The global internet and mobile rights for IPL were bagged by Star India in February 2015 for Rs. 302.2 crore for a three-year period. Its over-the-top (OTT) service Hotstarâs earnings went up to Rs. 150 crore in the latest edition.
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