With an incredible offer of Rs 16,347.5 crore, Star India asserted the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) media rights for all the markets (digital and television) for the following five years. The offer sum, worth around $2.5 billion dollars, is more than twice as much as the sum that World Sports Group had offered nine years back.
A total of 24 companies had picked up the Invitation To Tender (ITT) to bid for the broadcast and digital rights in the Indian subcontinent and global markets for the next five years. However, only 14 of the 24 names turned up with their respective bids, which meant that there was no participation by the likes of coming age media markets Yahoo, Amazon and ESPN digital.
tar India was the only company to bid for all markets in the event that took place at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Sony Pictures Networks (SPN), who had purchased the rights from World Sports Group for a sum of $1.63 billion in 2009 and held it till the 10th edition of the league that took place earlier this year, had placed a bid worth Rs 11,050 crore for the Indian subcontinent television market, the highest bid in that category.
The Indian subcontinental digital rights saw fierce competition between new players such as Facebook (Rs 3,900 crore), Airtel (Rs 3,280 crore) and Reliance Jio (Rs 3,075.72 crore), with the social networking giant emerging on top in the category.
Star India had in 2012 secured the BCCI media rights for global territories for a period of six years in a deal worth Rs 3,851 crore. The deal, which covers both internet as well as mobile coverage aside from television rights, is set to expire in March next year.
“We believe the IPL is a very powerful property, and we believe there is lots more value that can be created for fans of cricket on digital and TV,” Uday Shankar, chairman of Star India, said. “We would remain committed to ensure the growth of sports in this country continues to be driven by the power of cricket.”
In 2008, with a bid of 8200 crores, Sony Pictures Network had won the IPL media rights for a duration of 10 years. The global digital rights of IPL was handed over to Novi Digital (three years) in 2015 for 302.2 crores.
There are a set of seven rights which were being bid for. While the Indian market had been divided into two separate bids — television and for digital — the other five bids were for the USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa regions and the rest of the world markets, where the winning companies were to manage both TV and digital rights.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had also allowed companies the option of bidding for overall media rights across all seven markets — the option chosen by Star India, who are the current holders of the broadcast rights for international and domestic cricket in India as well as ICC events.
Until the 2017 edition, Sony held the broadcast rights of the IPL after it paid Rs 8,200 crore for a 10-year deal in 2008. Star India, through its wholly owned subsidiary Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, owned the digital rights of IPL.