Supreme Court calls for BCCI response on IPL rights tender

India’s Supreme Court has requested feedback from the Board of Control for Cricket in India over its tendering process for the next set of broadcast rights to Twenty20 competition the Indian Premier League.

The BCCI has been forced to abort the tender process on a number of occasions but released a fresh invitation to tender, covering five editions of the IPL, from 2018 to 2022, on July 21. Bid submissions are due on August 28, with the results of the tender expected to be announced on the same day.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court said it was considering a submission from Bharatiya Janata Party member Subramanian Swamy for an early hearing of his plea concerning the tender process. Swamy had called for an e-auctioning process in order to gain maximum value from the tender and ensure its transparency.

The LiveMint website said a Supreme Court bench headed by justice Dipak Misra has now sought a response from the BCCI on its tender process and the subject of e-auctioning within two weeks, calling for Swamy’s reply a week after.

In a statement issued when it launched the new sales process, the BCCI had said: “The IPL Governing Council at its meeting held on July 11, 2017 evaluated the IPL Media Rights ITT and reconfirmed that the existing BCCI tender process is the best approach, both in terms of absolute transparency and a free and fair price discovery, for the IPL media rights.”

Sony Pictures Network India currently holds television rights to the IPL, while pay-television broadcaster Star India has digital and overseas rights to the IPL, aside from in the UK and the US. Both deals expired at the end of the 2017 season, which concluded on May 21.

The Supreme Court case will be heard on August 24.