Pay-television broadcaster Star India has today (Monday) ousted Sony Pictures Network India as the main rights-holder to the Indian Premier League after securing the global television and digital rights to the Twenty20 cricket competition.
Under an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Star has paid Rs164.375bn (€2.17bn/$2.56bn) for all rights packages on offer across the five editions of the IPL, from 2018 to 2022.
The BCCI had been forced to abort the tender process on a number of occasions but released a fresh invitation to tender on July 21. The ITT attracted interest from 24 parties for the seven categories of television rights in India, digital rights in India, and combined television and digital rights for the US, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the rest of the world.
However, the Hindustan Times newspaper said that only 14 bidders were present at the auction, with Amazon, Taj TV , Gulf DTH, Group M, Media India, Sky UK, ESPN Digital Media, BTG Legal Services, BT, Twitter and Discovery choosing not to submit bids.
The ESPNcricinfo website said Star and Sony were the only two eligible bidders for IPL rights to the Indian television market after the bids were technically evaluated today. Airtel, Reliance Jio, Times Internet and Facebook were ruled eligible for the digital rights.
“We believe the IPL is a very powerful property, and we believe there is lots more value that can be created for fans of cricket on digital and TV,” Uday Shankar, chairman of Star India, said, according to ESPNcricinfo. “We would remain committed to ensure the growth of sports in this country continues to be driven by the power of cricket.”
Sony had held domestic television rights to the IPL, while Star held digital and overseas rights, aside from in the UK and the US. Both deals expired at the end of the 2017 season, which concluded on May 21.