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Star to share select IPL matches with DD with an hour's delay

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MUMBAI: For the first time in the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) history, one of the biggest cricketing bonanzas in the world will be aired by India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan too. But there’s a catch. Rightful broadcast rights holder Star India and DD have mutually agreed that select matches out of the 60-odd ones to be played this season will get aired on the pubcaster’s channel with an hour’s delay.

Asked specifically by Indiantelevision.com on the sidelines of an event here on Thursday, Star India chairman and CEO Uday Shankar said, “We will share with DD some highlights and one match every Sunday, apart from select other ones. It’s good for IPL that new audiences (not subscribing to pay TV) will get to sample it.”

According to Shankar, who’s riding a wave of cricket broadcast rights and other successes, Star India will share with DD select matches of the 11th edition of the IPL in 2018 that the pubcaster will air with a delay of 60 minutes. What does it mean? If an IPL match starts at 8 pm, for instance, DD will start airing it 9 pm onwards.

Asked as to why Star, which won the IPL global broadcast rights last year for a period of five years, is willing to share matches with the pubcaster that can probably have advertising revenue implications, Shankar said, “Its more in the nature of providing sampling opportunities to people who don’t have access to pay TV. It’s a mutual agreement [and] if we were not comfortable, we wouldn’t have shared the delayed feed also.”

Though Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati and Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani tweeted about the IPL matches to be aired on DD sometime early evening Thursday quoting a media report, Prasar Bharati’s Twitter handle later expanded on the actual deal to say, “To bring Vivo IPL 2018 to a wider audience, Star TV has agreed to share with Prasar Bharati select matches on a one hour deferred live basis with 50-50 revenue sharing.”

Indiantelevision.com also learns from industry and government sources that the as per the Star-Prasar Bharati deal, the matches to be aired on DD will also include the opener, the play-offs and the final. The 2018 edition of the cash-rich league will feature 12 matches that will be played at 4 pm and 48 matches that will start at 8 pm. According to details available, the matches will be played at nine venues over 51 days starting 7 April 2018.

Though Star was not forthcoming on the issue, Indiantelevision.com also learns from industry sources that DD will do the ad-sales and marketing of the matches to be aired on pubcaster’s TV channel and share the revenue with the rights holder in the ratio of 50:50. Star, while quoting government norms on mandatory sharing of sporting events with DD, earlier had pushed for a revenue share in the ratio of 75:25 in its favour.

For several months, officials of the MIB and Prasar Bharati and executives of Star India were locked in a series of hard bargaining over the finer details of match sharing with the pubcaster. Even as the finer points of sharing were being negotiated, the Indian cricket board wrote a letter to the MIB two days back expressing concerns over various government nods not forthcoming needed to telecast IPL matches live. The MIB has given its nod for temporary live uplinking of the IPL's 11th edition, whose inaugural ceremony will be held on 6 April 2018.

In September last year, Star India had won the global television and digital rights to IPL for the next five seasons for approximately $ 2.5 billion or Rs 16,347.50 crore. Until 2017, Sony Pictures Networks India had held the television broadcasting rights of IPL for 10 years (since 2008).

Also Read :

Star India beats Sony, Jio to win media rights for BCCI’s home matches

IPL 2018 gets a makeover with Star India

Comment: Does Star stand to gain or lose by sharing IPL with DD?

Star's Uday Shankar on distribution challenges, IPL, FTA vs. pay TV, innovations, Made in India content…and much more

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