DTH operator Dish TV has dashed a letter to the government seeking its intervention to stall rival Star India bagging telecast rights of IPL T20 championship saying an “absolute monopoly” will be created as the broadcaster already has rights for all cricketing events. In a letter to Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Dish TV India CMD Jawahar Goel alleged, “…with the blessing of BCCI, the growth of Star has been exponential capturing all the rights for all the cricketing events to be shown in India except for lone event of IPL”. Except for Indian Premier League (IPL), Star has the rights for all the cricketing events to be shown in India for the next 6-7 years, he added.
BCCI media rights covering television, Internet and mobile for the period from July 2012-March 2018 were sold to Star India at a price of Rs 3,851 crore, Goel wrote. Bids for IPL telecast rights for five years starting 2018 are due on August 28. “The acquisition of the IPL telecast rights by Star would lead to a situation where there will be an absolute monopoly thereby leading to dominance by Star in the field of cricketing telecast rights…,” he said. In such a scenario, Goel said Star “will not only compel the distributors of TV channels such as the DTH operators to pay exorbitant price for their channels but also make the ultimate consumers to shell more and more money from their pockets”.
He further said: “If these issues are not addressed immediately, the cost for the consumers is likely to increase manifold because of the creation of ‘sole supplier’ monopoly in the market”. “Such a situation would not only be anti-competitive but also anti-consumers as well,” he said in the letter which was also marked to Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairman. When contacted a Star India spokesperson declined to comment. Goel said Star is aiming to attain the status of “sole holder” of the telecast rights of all the major cricketing events. “Out of the total 270 matches played/to be played by India during the period from 2012-2019, telecast rights of as many as 191 matches are with Star only, which is around 71 per cent of the total matches,” he added.
Star India also has the global media rights for Asia Cup from 2016 to 2023, global broadcast rights for all ICC Events from from 2015-2023, he added. “In addition to the above, Star also has the rights for all the bilateral series of the Cricket Broads of Australia, England and Bangladesh…,” Goel said. Dish TV competes with Tata Sky in which Star has stake.