New Delhi: In a major boost for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the Supreme Court has negated e-auction for IPL media rights. The apex court has said that e-auction isn’t a must and that it will not interfere with the media rights process. MP Subramanian Swamy in his petition had asked for an e-auction keeping in mind the reforms suggested by the Lodha panel to ensure transparency.
But the SC has negated e-auction and the BCCI can now have a closed tender process as they believe that it is the best way to ‘price discovery’. The three categories in which the rights are divided are as follows: Indian Sub-continent Television Rights, Indian Sub-continent Digital Rights and Rest of the world (ROW) Media Rights.
The submission date for the Invitation To Tender (ITT) has been re-scheduled for September 1. With the likes of Star India, Sony, Amazon and Reliance among others buying the ITT for the media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) feels that it is another shot in the arm for the lucrative T20 league.
"The endeavour has always been to take the T20 league to a new level with each passing year. Making it bigger and better, keeping cricket as the centre of focus has been the primary objective and the interest shown in the bidding once again shows how the brand has moved forward. As for the rescheduling, it was an effort to keep in mind the bank holidays so that the potential bidders don’t face an issue," a senior BCCI official told CricketNext.
Swamy had written to the Lodha panel in May voicing his concern and requesting for introduction of e-auctions. "The Prime Minister says we must move to the digital world. Why should the BCCI conduct an auction physically? Why should it happen in a closed room? The Supreme Court has also said wherever e-auction is possible, it should be resorted to," Swamy had said.
The 18 companies that bought the ITT document for IPL broadcast rights in October 2016 remain eligible to submit their bids along with the two new companies YuppTV and Discovery Communications. All the rights will be for a period of five years from 2018-2022.
It is learnt that all companies that bought bid documents remained eligible at no extra cost as it was not their fault that the bidding did not take place after Lodha Panel diktat.
The Lodha panel had questioned the reason behind carrying out a bid in 2016 for rights that will be awarded from 2018.
"All the companies that showed interest in 2016 while buying the ITT are automatically eligible to submit their bids. It was not their fault that BCCI was not allowed to go ahead with the process. They won't be charged any extra cost for bid document. Now we have 20 companies including YuppTv and Discovery Communications that are eligible," a senior BCCI official had said.
The 18 eligible companies are Star India, Amazon Seller Services, Followon Interactive Media, Taj TV India, Sony Pictures Networks, Times Internet, Supersport International, Reliance Jio Digital, Gulf DTH FZ LLC, GroupM Media, beIN, Econet Media, SKY UK, ESPN Digital Media, BTG Legal Services, BT PLC, Twitter, Facebook Inc.