The Indian cricket governing body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), recently changed course by welcoming consortia to its bilateral media rights auction. This is a change from their previous policy, which barred consortiums (groups of businesses or banks working together towards a common goal) from bidding on media rights and kept them out of last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights auction.
Even if the immediate motivation for this policy shift is unknown, it may benefit Sony Pictures Network India and Essel Group (Zed Network), who have been working towards a merger. The commercial benefits of this policy change include the coming together of two media organisations.
This strategy shift looks thoughtful at first sight. The merger of Sony and Zed might produce a powerful new company, increasing the value of media rights in the process. Both have substantial linear and digital footprints, making them potential rivals to the likes of Viacom 18 and Disney Star. If they went their own ways, this benefit may not be as noticeable.
Over the last several years, the long-awaited merger of Sony and Zed has attracted considerable interest inside India Inc. Multiple legal challenges, however, have delayed final approval. According to the most recent information, we can probably expect this consolidation to be completed by October 1. The BCCI will not object to a consortium if one is formed, although this is unclear from the ITT.
In addition to these changes, the BCCI issued an Invitation to Tender (ITT) on Thursday, October 3 that details three important deadlines. Inquiries to the BCCI will be taken until August 16; the deadline for the auction is August 31. The deadline for submitting bids on the technical evaluation is August 28th, two days before the auction.
The BCCI requires all participating companies to increase their bids by at least Rs 1 crore. Companies interested in bidding on both the India subcontinent linear rights and the India subcontinent digital rights, as well as the worldwide TV and digital rights, will need to boost their total offers by Rs 1 crore. For instance, a bid of Rs 1 crore would satisfy this condition if it included Rs 25 lakh for Package A and Rs 75 lakh for Package B. Even if a corporation is just interested in bidding on a single package, they must still submit an additional offer of Rs 1 crore.
The next five-year cycle, set to begin in September 2023, will have 88 games, as was previously stated. Linear rights have a starting price of Rs 20 crore, while the digital bundle starts at Rs 25 crore. The BCCI has stated that the procedure may be reevaluated if the aggregate worth is less than Rs 60 crore, or Rs 5200 crore.
Furthermore, the successful firm or organizations will be responsible for providing commentary in five different languages, including English and Hindi, with the remaining three regional languages being selected by the broadcaster.