With a whopping bid of Rs 16,347.5 crore, Star India claimed the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) media rights for all the markets (digital and television) for the next five years. The bid amount, worth approximately $2.5 billion dollars, is more than twice as much as the amount that World Sports Group had bid eight years ago.
To put things to perspective, the combined figure of the highest bids submitted on Monday in each category of the media rights on offer tallied at Rs 15,819.51 crore.
Star India was the only company to bid for all markets in the event that took place at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Sony Pictures Networks (SPN), who had purchased the rights from World Sports Group for a sum of $1.63 billion in 2009 and held it till the 10th edition of the league that took place earlier this year, had placed a bid worth Rs 11,050 crore for Indian subcontinent television, the highest bid in that category.
The Indian subcontinental digital rights saw fierce competition between new players such as Facebook (Rs 3,900 crore), Airtel (Rs 3,280 crore) and Reliance Jio (Rs 3,075.72 crore), with the social networking giant emerging on top in the category.
Had it not been for Star’s humongous bid for all the rights across every available category, SPN and Facebook representatives at the event would have walked away with a deal each.
There are a set of seven rights which were being bid for. While the Indian market had been divided into two separate bids — television and for digital — the other five bids were for the USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa regions and the rest of the world markets, where the winning companies were to manage both TV and digital rights.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had also allowed companies the option of bidding for overall media rights across all seven markets — the option chosen by Star India, who are the current holders of the broadcast rights for international cricket in India as well as ICC events.
Until the 2017 edition, Sony held the broadcast rights of the IPL after it paid Rs 8,200 crore for a 10-year deal in 2008. Star India, through its wholly owned subsidiary Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, owned the digital rights of IPL