Dsport not in the running for BCCI's media rights

MUMBAI: With just two weeks remaining for the BCCI rights to be out for grabs, the interest from broadcasters seems to have waned.

According to a source at Discovery Communications, Dsport has not picked up the invitation to tender (ITT), which means the newest broadcast is likely not bidding. In an interview to Mint in December 2017, Discovery Communication India SVP and GM Karan Bajaj said that the network would focus on cricket on Dsport, after the launch of Discovery Jeet (launched on 12 February 2018).

Interested bidders had to pick up the tender documents upon payment of Rs 6.80 lakh ($10,000).The last date for picking up the ITT was till 5 pm on 5 March 2018. The last date for submission of bids is 10 am on 27 March. The online auction will start at 2 pm the same day.

Sony Pictures Network (SPN) India’s dependence has come down after having the rights of seven cricket boards out of the top 10 - Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board, Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket, Cricket South Africa, Cricket West Indies and Zimbabwe Cricket Board. 

With IPL rights in its kitty, Star India also might skip the BCCI rights. It also has the rights of New Zealand Cricket for the next three years starting from 2017 end.

The BCCI rights are being awarded for a five-year period beginning from April 2018 till March 2023. Interested parties can bid for three packages—global television rights plus rest of the world digital rights, digital rights for the Indian subcontinent and a global consolidated rights bid.

For digital rights, players like Facebook, Twitter, Reliance Jio, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and Sony Liv will play a crucial role if they have picked up the documents. In the IPL media rights auction, Facebook, Reliance Jio and Airtel had bid over Rs 3000 crore each for the digital rights alone. 

Though we don’t see the IPL frenzy for the upcoming rights, in the world of sports, spontaneity is everything and everyone is waiting for a surprise on 27 March 2018.

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