The Board of Control for Cricket in India will auction the television and digital streaming rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) — the biggest property in Indian sport — on Sunday. The biggest names in the broadcast industry have thrown their hats into the e-auction ring for the rights to broadcast the richest cricket league.
With the IPL growing bigger and more valuable, the BCCI is expected to make a killing off the media rights. The winning bidder will earn the rights to broadcast the league for a five-year cycle from 2023 to 2027.
WHEN IS THE IPL MEDIA RIGHTS E-AUCTION?
This is the first time that the IPL media rights will be conducted via e-auction. It will start at 11 AM in Mumbai on Sunday. However, there is no end date with the IPL keeping the option open for the auction process to spill over into the next day(s). The auction will carry on till the bids are exhausted.
Bids are filed online in an e-auction. Unlike a close-bid process, which the BCCI followed in 2017, in an e-auction, companies file incremental bids till the other competitors drop out. The highest bidder wins the media rights.
Reports suggest Amazon has withdrawn from the e-auction. A top BCCI official confirmed the development to Bloomberg. Amazon has already communicated its decision to withdraw to the BCCI ahead of the evaluation of the technical bids. The US e-retail giant does not want to get into a bidding war. Amazon’s withdrawal leaves Disney Star, Sony-Zee, and Reliance Industries-owned as the main competitors.
Unlike Disney-Star, Sony, or Viacom18/Reliance, Amazon does not have a dedicated TV/sports channel. It has already invested more than $6 billion in India and more spending merely for the online streaming rights didn’t make business sense, the Bloomberg report quoted its sources as saying.
UP FOR GRABS
The board has divided the media rights into four packages (A, B, C, and D). Package A is a TV-exclusive bracket for the Indian subcontinent, while package B is the digital-only rights for the region.
Package C is groups non-exclusive matches, including some special matches. This will include the tournament opener, playoff matches, few evening weekend games, and the final. With the IPL season being 74 matches long, this will include 18 games.
Package D is a combined (TV and digital) bracket for the rest of the world.
BASE PRICE AND THE PROCESS
Each package has a separate base price.
Package A: Rs 49 crore per match
Package B: Rs 33 crore per match
Package C: Rs 11 crore per match
Package D: Rs 3 crore per match
The bidding for packages A and B will be simultaneously placed. Bidding for packages C and D will take place together after that.
At the last media rights auction in 2017, Star India paid a record Rs 16,347.5 crore (approx $2.55 billion in 2017 rates) to bag the rights for five years (2018-22). It was the biggest-ever media rights deal in cricket history and was 158% higher than what was paid for previous the cycle.
The IPL’s valuation was $5.9 billion two years ago, according to Duff & Phelps. Now, with the addition of two new teams and additional matches, its valuation has risen considerably. This time, the media rights are estimated to fetch $7.7 billion (approx Rs 60,000 crore).