Stage set for BCCI media rights e-auction

MUMBAI: The stage is set for the BCCI media rights e-auction on 3 April with Star India and Sony Pictures Networks India once again locking horns with each other to bag the coveted rights.

Apart from Star and Sony, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, Facebook, Google, and YuppTV are also contenders for the rights. While Star and Sony are expected to bid for the consolidated rights, the other four players are believed to be in the fray for the digital rights.

This is the first time that the BCCI will grant rights through e-auction. Till now, the cricket board has been awarding rights through manual auction.

The Supreme Court mandated Committee of Administrators (CoA) feel has gone for online bidding as it feels that the e-auction process is a far more transparent method for competitive price discovery.

The BCCI had issued the invitation to tender (ITT) for the media rights on 20 February. The media rights will be awarded for a five year period from 1 April 2018 till 31 March 2023.

The ITT has three packages including global TV rights plus rest of the world digital rights package, Indian sub-continent digital rights package and global consolidated rights package.

For the 2018-19 season, the base price for the consolidated global rights is Rs 43 crore per match including Rs 35 crore for global TV/RoW digital rights and Rs 8 crore for the Indian sub-continent digital rights.

For the next four years, the base price is Rs 40 crore for consolidated global rights with Rs 33 crore for global TV/RoW digital rights, and Rs 7 crore for the Indian sub-continent rights.

India is expected to play 102 games including 22 Tests, 42 ODIs and 38 Twenty20 Internationals at home in the five-year cycle. The year wise split for the 102 games is 21 games in 2018-19, 23 in 2019-20, 14 in 2020-21, 23 in 2021-22 and 21 in 2022-23.

Thus, the BCCI is assured of earning at least Rs 4134 crore from the auction of media rights at just the base price. This is higher than the Rs 3851 crore paid by Star India for the six-year cycle that ends on 31 March.

Considering the bidding frenzy which was seen during IPL media rights auction, the BCCI is expected to laugh all the way to the bank with a large sum. It had sold IPL media rights for a record Rs 16,347.5 crore to Star.

The closed bidding is a one-time process, however, the e-auction will allow the companies to file incremental bids with fixed slabs after each round till competitors pull out of the race. The e-auction could also spill over to the next day if the bidding process is not completed by 6 pm tomorrow.

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