Spotting a few trends from IPL media rights auction

In a Herculean development, Star Network has bagged IPL television and digital rights from BCCI against the sum of INR 16347.5 (US$ 2.55 billion) for a five year period of 2018 to 2022. In India TV market, Sony and Star compete for the media rights of IPL. It seems that Star Sports, who had just acquired the rights to IPL are set to pay Rs.55 crore for each IPL match.

Asked if any major Indian company with interest in broadcast gets into a tie-up with an worldwide player vying for digital rights for the rest of the world, Johri said that the possibility can not be ruled out.

If Star had not submitted the Global Bid of Rs 16,347.50 and applied just for the Individual Bids for Indian Subcontinent TV Rights with Rs 6,196.94 crore, it would have been beaten by Sony, who bid Rs 11,050 crore exclusively for the TV broadcast rights.

The companies included Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo, Reliance Jio, STAR India, Sony Pictures, Discovery, Sky, British Telecom and ESPN Digital Media purchased the bid.

Hotstar, the OTT arm of Star India, will get a lift. Also bidding for the rights were Sony, which had TV rights for all the earlier seasons of IPL, streaming service Yupp, and content conglomerate Times Internet Limited, among others. Besides that, the Indian media landscape is changing, and the distribution revenue from channels will be far higher compared to 10 years ago.

In terms of the marketability of the IPL and its popularity amongst the Indian masses, this is a historic deal for the BCCI. While the market is abuzz with whether Star will be able to recover cost and make money, Uday Shankar, chairman and chief executive, believes that it is not an insane bid. DishTV said that the Star India holding all the cricket broadcasting rights is anticompetitive and anti-consumer.

"With both TV and digital rights with Star India, there is likely to be no lag period between the live stream on Hotstar and Star Sports". The combined value of the highest bids in each of the categories, however, came out to Rs 15,819.51 crore, which was lesser than Star's global bid.

As Facebook gets serious about video, the social giant's ambitions for live streaming were on display on Monday in India where it put a bid north of $600 million to win the digital streaming rights of IPL, one of the most popular cricket tournaments in the country.

24 companies actually appeared for the bidding process; only 14 went forward with their successful bidding. "This tells you that cricket continues to be very strong, very healthy and very attractive in this country", added Shankar. Star India's rights of BCCI matches is ending next year, and Sony for sure will leave no stone unturned to clinch it from Star.

  • Stacy Allen