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Star's BCCI rights bid not as astronomical as we all think

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MUMBAI: Star India has made history by making two of the biggest bids for acquiring cricket rights in India—for the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) along with the Indian cricket team’s home matches. After Star India successfully bid Rs 6,138.1 crore for the home matches, the question on everyone’s mind was whether the broadcaster would be able to recover and subsequently make a profit.

To acquire the IPL media rights, Uday Shankar agreed to pay Rs 16,347.5 crore for five years. For the first 10 years of the league,  Sony Pictures had paid nearly half that amount to the BCCI for double the period.

The BCCI rights were conducted through e-auction, which went to Star India after three long days of competitive bidding between Star India, Sony Pictures and Reliance Jio.

The Indian team’s future tours programme (FTP) for the current five-year cycle includes 102 matches with 22 tests, 45 ODIs and 35 T20Is. Meanwhile, the next four seasons of the IPL, along with the ongoing year, will constitute 300 T20 matches.

When calculated by hours of mandated play, the 300 matches in the IPL add up to 900 hours while the home matches have a tally of 1080 hours. Star India paid Rs 54.5 crore per match for the IPL rights and, after protracted bidding, paid Rs 60.1 crore per match for the 2018-23 home rights across five years. This was nearly a 50 per cent increase from the Rs 40.1 crore the broadcaster paid for the 2012-18 cycle cycle when it bid Rs 3851 crore for 96 matches. The 96 matches included 33 tests, 48 ODIs and 15 T20Is with 1371 hours of mandatory play.

In the current FTP, the number of test matches has reduced by 11 and the sport’s most sellable format, T20I, has increased by 20 matches.

Interestingly, the 2012-18 cycle had more test matches and fewer T20Is compared to the 2018-23 cycle and, therefore, the per hour rate has doubled in the current cycle. In the 2012-18 cycle, the per hour rate was Rs 2.80 crore as compared with Rs 5.88 crore in the ongoing cycle.

For the first 10 years of the IPL, Sony Pictures Network coughed up Rs 12.69 crores per hour of play as compared to Rs 18.16 crore being paid by Star India to the BCCI for the IPL between 2018 and 2023.

Analysts in many quarters felt that Star India paid a hefty premium per match for the BCCI rights thereby making it hard for the broadcaster to recover money leave alone profit. However, an analysis of the per hour rate of mandated play reveals that the company didn’t overstretch its bid. Armed with its regional feeds along with production rights, it seems that Star India may still gamely monetise the rights.

Also read:

The rise and rise of Uday Shankar the gambler, the decisive risktaker  who does not flinch

Winning bid nets BCCI Rs 6138.70 crore for home rights

Star India bags production rights for IPL 2018

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