IPL: BCCI tells SC rights bidding process under way, hearing on 22 Aug

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court sent a legal notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)  enquiring why the IPL media rights auction has not taken place online. And, BCCI told the court that e-auction of rights was not possible and that the court should not intervene as the bidding process was already under way.

The auction process for IPL media rights is in progress up to 28 August, and the rights would operate for a period of five years. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had, on 11 July, filed a petition before the apex court asking why broadcast rights for cricket matches would not be sold through e-auction. He had mentioned that the BCCI should have gone for e-auction since a huge amount of Rs 300 billion was at stake.

The court had directed the board to respond in two weeks.

The bench, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dipak Misra, has asked the Committee of Administrators (CoA), appointed by it, to assist the apex court in deciding the issue. The next hearing is now scheduled for 22 August.

IPL’s TV broadcast rights were held by Sony Pictures Networks till the 10th edition which concluded in June. The Internet and mobile rights were awarded to Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd (Hotstar), a unit of Star India, for a period of three years to 2017.

Singapore-based World Sport Group pocketed the IPL broadcasting rights for 10 years in 2008 by investing US$ 918 million. A year later, the contract was replaced when Sony Group (through Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd) paid US$ 1.63 billion for the nine-year broadcasting rights. The auction process was delayed last year on the Supreme Court’s directive to first comply with the Lodha panel reforms.

Facebook, Reliance Jio, Twitter, Sony Pictures Network India and Star India were some of the major companies who picked up the tender document. While the television broadcast rights for the Indian subcontinent is for 10 seasons (up to 2027), the digital rights are valid for five seasons and the international media rights also are for five seasons.

Also Read: IPL: Media rights race hots up after IMG renews events deal

Swamy seeks transparency in IPL media rights through SC

IPL tendering process to commence 17 July; bidding to be fierce

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