Star India wins IPL broadcast and media rights for five years

A view of the Vivo IPL Trophy.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

Media and entertainment company Star India demonstrated a big appetite and business acumen for an Indian cricket  property by acquiring the IPL’s  global broadcasting and digital rights  for a consolidated sum  of ₹16, 347.5 crore ($ 2.55 billion) for a period of five years, starting from the 11th edition of  IPL 2018. The sum of the parts of other bids  for India broadcasting, digital and rest of the world rights was a close ₹15,819.51 crore; so the difference was just a little over ₹500 crore. Star India was the only company though to make a single global media rights bid; it made separate bids also. The 21st Century Fox-owned Star India is now the proud owner of the BCCI’s global media rights, ICC and the IPL; the BCCI rights will come to end in March 2018.   

It was a winner take all situation with the first ten year tranche broadcasting rights holder, Sony Pictures Network (SPN) India making a ₹11, 050 crore bid, but only for the India broadcasting rights. But since Star India made an across the board  strategic  bid, covering the India broadcasting, digital and rest of the world rights for a higher sum, it became the undisputed leader of the pack that had in all 13 eligible bidders, including five major players putting down good numbers for the digital rights. Three agencies — Deloitte, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and SportsMechanics — had evaluated the technical bids before the financial bids were opened.

Star India Chairman and CEO Uday Shankar expressed happiness at the bid process saying, “I would like to convey my delight being able to bring the IPL [to Star India] to what we believe is the rightful home of cricket in this country and elsewhere. The IPL is a very powerful property. We believe that a lot more value can be created for the cricket fans on broadcasting and digital platforms and we would remain very committed to make sure that the growth of sports in the country is driven by the power of cricket. It was a conscious call to bid for the global rights, we have significant presence in all forms and markets. In India we have an exciting and robust platform and our channels are globally distributed. It made sense for us to make an attempt and win it for all the markets. Everyone picked up their areas of strength and aspiration and put in their value. I would like to compliment the BCCI for running an immaculately transparent process.”

When asked if the magical winning figure was more, Mr. Shankar said, “Even had it been slightly less, we would not have got the rights; that should tell this is the right figure. In every category it has been competitive. Digital did not even exist ten years ago, and here, there were three who bid in excess of ₹3000 crore. Cricket continues to be very strong and very attractive in this country. Whoever puts in the money believe in the fans of the sport and universally the fans continue to grow and remain healthy.  India, cricket and IPL... all three have dramatically changed since 2008.”

An individual who was part of the bid opening process at the Taj Mahal Hotel said, “SPN would have been disappointed, not strictly though from a business point of view, but for an emotional connect. It held the rights for ten years. But it has other cricket properties in other countries and many other sports properties.”

In all, 24 companies had picked up the Invitation to Tender (ITT) and 14 made bids. 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 U.K. based Perform Group, Follow On,  Yupp TV, OSN, Facebook, Airtel, Econet, Reliance Jio, Super Sport and Times Internet.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 11:28:00 PM |

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