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BCCI opens up fresh tender process for IPL rights

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has opened a new tender process for television and digital rights to the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition, according to multiple reports.

Indian newspaper the Financial Express said the tender will run along similar lines to the one that had commenced last year, before ultimately being cancelled in October.

The BCCI was forced to apologise to bidders in the tender process for the next set of rights to the IPL after electing to postpone the scheduled auction for the competition. Uncertainty had been caused in the wake of an order from the Supreme Court over matters relating to the wide-ranging overhaul of the governance of the BCCI.

The court order directed the BCCI to direct all tenders and contracts through the Lodha Committee, the body that is overseeing the reform process that had been sparked by the spot-fixing scandal that occurred during the 2013 edition of the IPL.

The initial tender was launched on September 19, with the BCCI accepting bids for the rights through to October 25. The packages on offer included television rights in the Indian subcontinent for 10 years, from 2018 to 2027, digital rights in the Indian subcontinent over five years, from 2018 to 2022, and television and digital rights for the same five-year period for the rest of the world.

The Financial Express said these timelines will remain in place under the new tender, with the BCCI accepting bids until October 25. The BCCI had informed the IPL’s current rights-holder, Sony Pictures Networks India, that it would launch an open tender process in an effort to demonstrate transparency in its operations, with the governing body under substantial pressure to implement major reforms in its governance.

Pay-television broadcaster Star India holds the IPL’s digital and overseas rights, except in the UK and the US. The contracts are due to expire following the forthcoming 2017 IPL season.

The 18 companies that picked up the initial ITT were: Star India, Amazon, Followon Interactive Media, Taj TV, Sony Pictures Networks, Times Internet, SuperSport International, Reliance Jio Digital Services, Gulf DTH, GroupM Media India, beIN, Econet Media, Sky UK, ESPN Digital Media (India), BTG Legal Services, BT, Twitter and Facebook.