IPL Media Rights Explained: How Bidders Can Win Race To Cricket's Biggest Broadcast Deal

STAR India, Reliance, SONY among top bidders for new five-year cycle starting 2023 for IPL media rights.

BCCI could be richer by INR Rs 45,000 crore after the IPL media rights auction.

The much-anticipated duel between Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani for acquisition of one of world's costliest sporting properties won't materialise now as OTT giants Amazon on Friday pulled out of Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights bidding, scheduled to start on Sunday. (More Cricket News)

Reliance Industries Limited-owned Viacom18 is considered to be one of the strongest contenders both in TV and digital space.

Bezos-funded Amazon was expected to be one of the biggest bidders in digital space but pulled out of the race without revealing the reason.

"Yes, Amazon is out of the race. They didn't join the technical bidding process today. As far as Google (YouTube) is concerned, they had picked up the bid document but didn't submit it. As of now, 10 companies (TV and streaming) are in fray," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

A four-way battle

There are four specific packages in which e-auction will be conducted for 74 games per season for a five-year period from 2023-2027 with a provision of increasing the number of matches to 94 in the final two years.

The Package A has Indian sub-continent exclusive TV (broadcast) rights while Package B covers digital rights for Indian sub-continent. 

The Package C is for 18 selected games in each season for digital space while Package D (all games) will be for combined TV and digital rights for overseas markets.

"Let's make it clear, the Viacom 18 JV (Joint Venture), current rights holder Walt Disney (Star), Zee and Sony are the four contenders for the packages with solid footprints in both TV and digital market," the official said.

Some of the other contenders, primarily for digital space are: Times Internet, FunAsia, Dream11, FanCode while Sky Sports (UK) and Supersport (South Africa) will be vying for overseas TV and digital rights.

The last time, Star India bought rights for both TV and digital with a composite bid of Rs 16,347.50 crore but this time the composite base price is more than Rs 32,000 crore.

All bidders will have to make separate bids for each package, this time.

As of Friday, some of the big players who are involved with the bidding process, feel that Rs 45,000 crore (USD 5.8 billion approx) is the amount that BCCI could expect which will be a two-and-a-half times increase in valuation.

Here's a 'Ready Reckoner' for IPL Media Rights

Q: What are the dates of media rights auction?

A:  It is expected to be for two days -- June 12 and 13.

Q: What is the period of IPL Media Rights?

A:  The period is for five years from 2023-2027.

Q: Number of matches per season?

A:  It is 74 with provision of going up to 94 in last 2 seasons.

Q: What is current valuation of IPL Media Rights?

A:  Rs 16,347.50 crore for both TV and Digital with Star India.

Q: What are the packages on offer?

A:  A: TV Rights for Indian sub-continent at Rs 49 crore per game.
B:  Digital Rights for Indian sub-continent at Rs 33 cr per game.
C:  18-match, non-exclusive digital package at Rs 11 crore per game.
D: Overseas TV and Digital Rights at Rs 3 cr per game.

Q: What is composite base price for all packages?

A: Total composite base price for all four packages is Rs 32,440 cr.


Package A is Rs 18,130 cr (74x49x5) 
Package B is Rs 12,210 cr (74x33x5)
Package C is Rs 990cr (18x11x5)
Package D is Rs 1110cr (74x3x5)

Q:  Which are major companies bidding?

A: There are 10 companies in fray: 

 - Viacom18 JV (Joint Venture) with Lupa Systems (Uday Shankar and James Murdoch), Walt Disney (Star), Zee, Sony (both India media and digital rights). 

- Times Internet, Fan Code, FunAsia, Dream11 (only digital rights).

- Supersport (South Africa) and Sky Sports (UK) vying for Overseas TV and Digital rights.   

Q: Can one entity make a composite bid like Star did last time?

A:  No. Every package will be awarded to highest bidder.

For example, Facebook had presented highest digital bid for Rs 3900 crore in 2017 but Star grabbed the rights with a huge composite bid despite lower digital bid.

Q: Can one entity get two packages?

A: Yes, that is possible. 

Suppose, if Star has the highest bid for India TV rights (Package A) for an 'x' amount and Sony places the highest bid for India digital rights for 'y' amount, both the companies can challenge each other in a tie-breaker.

Q: Which package could see a close fight?

A: Package C, which has non-exclusive rights for 18 games that include opening game, final, three play-offs and a few weekend double headers.

All major players (Viacom, Zee, Sony, Star) would like to own this digital package. If a company wins India digital rights and loses out on non-exclusive rights, then it loses out on massive revenue (advertisement plus subscriptions) for those 18 games which can be accessed at any other platforms. Companies would like to buy it to kill competition.

Q: What is the type of auction that is being held?


A:  Just like last time, it will be e-auction where companies can raise their bid by 50 crore at one go. E-auction is transparent but time- consuming.

Q: What is kind of money expected by the BCCI?

A: The BCCI is expecting that over and above their Rs 32,440 crore composite base price, it could earn another 12,000 to 12,500 crore which may take the valuation up to Rs 45,000 crore.