Television

IPL chief Shukla recuses from 'live-streaming' media rights auction

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MUMBAI: The BCCI has planned to live-stream the bidding process for awarding media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights on 4 September. Although an appeal by Rajya Sabha MP Subramanium Swamy's for e-auction was struck down by the Supreme Court, this seems to be 'transparent' part of the process, which will bring in Rs 200 billion for BCCI in a five-year deal -- a growth of 455  per cent from the last deal.

Efforts are reportedly afoot to live-stream the auction either on iplt20.com or bcci.tv or both.

Meanwhile, IPL chairman (Congress leader and a television channel co-owner) Rajeev Shukla, who faces allegations of conflict of interest despite getting a clean chit from former BCCI ombudsman retired justice AP Shah, has recused himself from the auction of the T20 League to be held in Mumbai. Shukla has refuted allegations that BAG Films, which is owned by his wife, had an understanding with the potential bidder Star Sports.

Considering recent entries of Yahoo, Airtel, BAMTech and DAZN/Perform Group, the list of bidders has reportedly gone up to 24 including Star India, Followon Interactive Media, Taj TV India, Amazon Seller Services, Sony Pictures Networks, Times Internet, Supersport International, Gulf DTH FZ LLC, Reliance Jio Digital, GroupM Media, beIN, Econet Media, SKY UK, BTG Legal Services, ESPN Digital Media, BT PLC, Twitter and Facebook Inc.

Two significant changes can be seen in this time's auction. The rights would now be auctioned for a five-year period up to 2022), and rights for seven territories are being auctioned as opposed to 2008's two sections -- India and international rights. Television rights in India are believed to see a neck-and-neck race. Conditions stated in the tender make it compulsory for the digital partners to delay the live-streaming by five minutes and allocate 80 per cent of the bidding amount to broadcast rights, eventually making the equation favourable for Star India and Sony Pictures.

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