BCCI to permit groups to submit bids for media rights

By permitting consortiums to participate in its bilateral media rights auction, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made a fundamental change in its policy. This is a change from their previous policy, which prohibited consortiums from participating in media rights bidding and even barred them from the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights auction last year. Consortiums are collaborative groups of multiple businesses or banks working together to achieve a common goal.

Although the immediate justification for this change in policy is yet unknown, it appears to advantage Sony Pictures Network India and Essel Group (Zed Network), who have been aggressively seeking to unite. In terms of business, the policy’s relaxation makes it possible for two media businesses to work together as a single entity.

This strategic action seems well thought out at first. The combined strength of Sony and Zed could result in a powerful entity, raising the value of media rights. Both businesses provide a significant challenge to rivals like Viacom 18 and Disney Star thanks to their strong linear and internet presence. This benefit might not be as obvious if they choose different courses.

Over the past few years, India Inc. has paid a lot of attention to the long-awaited merger of Sony and Zed. However, a number of legal problems have impeded the final approval. The most recent information indicates that October 1 is a possible deadline for this unification’s conclusion. Although it is unclear if they will create a consortium, the BCCI won’t care as long as it complies with the ITT.

In addition to these developments, three important dates are outlined in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) that the BCCI released on Thursday, October 3. Inquiries to the BCCI will be taken up until August 16; the auction is expected to end on August 31. The deadline for technical assessment bids is August 28, two days before the auction.

According to BCCI rules, participating companies must make sure that their incremental offers total at least Rs 1 crore. In order to compete for the two packages, which include worldwide TV and digital rights as well as India-subcontinent linear rights, firms must together raise their bids by Rs 1 crore. For instance, as long as the combined amount reaches Rs 1 crore, a bid of Rs 25 lakh in Package A and Rs 75 lakh in Package B would be acceptable. The incremental bid must still be Rs 1 crore even if a corporation is only offering to buy one package.

The upcoming five-year cycle, starting in September 2023, will have 88 games, as was originally announced. For linear rights, the base price is set at Rs 20 crore, while the base price for the digital package is Rs 25 crore. The BCCI has stated that the entire procedure may be reevaluated if the total value does not reach Rs 60 crore, or Rs 5200 crore altogether.

Additionally, the winning firm or companies shall ensure that the commentary is available in five languages, including English and Hindi, with the broadcaster having the option to select the remaining three regional languages.

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