Sport

Buys Media Rights Deal For Rs 16347.50 Crore

Buys Media Rights Deal For Rs 16347.50 Crore

Star India has won the global media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) - the crown jewel of BCCI and the only premium cricket property that it did not have in its portfolio - for a whopping Rs 16,347.5 crore. In India TV market, Sony and Star compete for the media rights of IPL.

Facebook has again suffered a setback in India, this time finding that around US$600m wasn't enough to secure five years worth of digital distribution rights for cricket matches.

Referring to this win, Star India chairman Uday Shankar said it is the "biggest deal in the world of Cricket". Back in 2012, Star had won broadcast and digital rights of India matches between 2012-2018 for Rs 3,851 crore, a figure broken down to Rs 43 crore per match.

SPN had paid around Rs 8,200 crore in 2008 for the 10 year media rights of IPL, and the network's India head, N.P. Singh, has consistently maintained that it is the most profitable property of the network in India.

Initially, there were 24 companies who purchased the rights papers in a bid to contest for the several rights up for grabs in the auction.

The notable companies that have picked up tender document are 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, BamTech, YuppTV, Discovery, Oath (Yahoo), Airtel, DAZN Perform Group.

In effect, Star beat the rest of the territorial bidders collectively merely by a 3 percent margin, making it a very narrowly-contested auction. After the technical bids, the Walt Disney-owned American video supplier, BAMTech was disqualified because it did not fulfil certain criteria; the other 13 who made the final cut were Star India, SPN (India), BeIN (Qatar), the United Kingdom based Perform Group, Follow On, Yupp TV, OSN, Facebook, Airtel, Econet, Reliance Jio, Super Sport and Times Internet. In the competitive environment of sports broadcasting today, we did not want to take anything for granted and it's nice to have the IPL after living without it for the past 10 years.

In its final report, made public in January 2016, the Lodha Committee had pointed out that "no norms or procedures exist to select or engage contractors in a fair and transparent manner" when the BCCI signed new contracts, including television rights.

Star were the previous holders of the digital rights as well, having bought them in 2015 for INR 303 crore in a three-year deal.

One issue which has come up is the extent of control Star will have on Indian cricket on account of its telecast rights not just over Indian cricket's matches but also ICC tournaments.

"Even if it was slightly less, we would not have got the rights".

The company has been looking to become a go-to platform for live streaming of sports around the world.

It is pertinent to note that the rights were split into three sections - TV rights for the Indian subcontinent, digital rights and overseas media rights (television and digital). The idea was to stay away from ending up with a single category bid and in turn losing out on the global pie, which Star had clearly been waiting for all these years. Cricket continues to be very strong and very attractive in this country.


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