There could be a final bidding war even after IPL TV, digital rights sold- Reports

The Board of Cricket Control of India could have one more, final bidding war even after selling the IPL TV as well as digital rights as the Board is looking for a larger amount.

BCCI has opened up the Tender for the IPL media rights for the 2023-27 cycle. For the first time since the IPL’s inception, an e-auction will be held to determine the next winners of the tournament’s media rights.

“With two new teams, more matches, more engagement, more venues, we are looking to take #TataIPL to newer and greater heights,” Shah wrote on Twitter. “I’ve no doubts that with this process there will not only be revenue maximization but also value maximization, which will benefit India Cricket immensely.”

The Indian cricket board has set a combined base price of Rs 33,000 crore (Rs 32,890 crore to be precise) for the media rights of the Indian Premier League, a Cricbuzz report said.

At the moment, Star holds the rights for the TV while their OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar currently holds the digital rights. They have paid the BCCI over INR 16,000 crore [USD 2.55 billion approx. at the time] to win the rights for the five-year period which ends with 2022 IPL. 

Star is likely to apply once again and this time, it will face some heavy competition from Zee-Sony and Reliance Viacom 18 for the TV rights. Amazon Prime, Meta, and YouTube for the digital rights.

The e-auction is all set to take place in June Month and according to the information available online, the rights will be sold in four different packages.

Bundle A– This package is for the Indian sub-continent television rights 

Bundle B– This is for the digital rights

Bundle C– This will have the rights of non-exclusive 18 games — the opening match, four play-offs and the night games of the doubleheaders. This bundle is only for the OTT players and only one player can buy this bundle.

Bundle D- This is for the rest of the world. 

Talking about the packages, BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal explained to Cricbuzz that these packages work well as it provides transparency for smaller companies to bid on Bundle D, which provides particular matches alone.

“Someone may not be interested in all 74 games, they can go for the limited pack,” Dhumal pointed out. “There are many global players who want to be part of the IPL success story and may not have cricket in their sports portfolio but would want to be part of it in a limited manner to begin with, so this ITT provides them that possibility.”

Unlike past years, this time, the provisions have been made in such a way that there will be a right to challenge, where the winners of the TV rights can challenge the digital rights holders. This will be decided based on one final round of e-bidding.

This will provide an opportunity for one party to acquire both TV and OTT rights. Similarly, the holders of digital rights can challenge the winners of Bundle C – a limited non-exclusive package. However, The Tender to Invitation is designed in such a way that the company with Bundle B rights cannot use the right to challenge to fight with those with Bundle A rights. 

Since TV Rights are costlier than Digital rights, vice versa is not possible. Similarly, Bundle C right holders can use the right to match only on Bundle D.

Explaining the system in simple words, Harish Thawani, the former CEO of Nimbus said, “In a way, it is the right to match that was previously seen in the player auction.

“It will only escalate the value of every property,” he added.