Star India have successfully acquired the global media rights, including television and digital, for the next five seasons of the Indian Premier League. Star was the only company which submitted a global consolidated bid of Rs 16,347.50 crore, which turned out to be Rs 528 crore more than the sum of all the highest individual bids for the seven categories of rights being sold – Rs 15,819.51 crore.
Sony Pictures Networks India had submitted the highest bid for the Indian subcontinent broadcast rights – Rs 11,050 crore. Star India’s bid for this category was Rs 6,196.94 crore, almost Rs 5,000 crore lower than its biggest rival. Facebook had the highest bid for the Indian digital rights – Rs 3,900 crore. Airtel had the second-higest bid in this category – Rs 3,280 crore.
There was no segregation between broadcast and digital rights for the markets of the USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Star India CEO Uday Shankar said, “We believe that that IPL is a very powerful property. We remain committed to the growth of sports in India, which continues to be driven by cricket.”
As many as 24 companies had reportedly bought picked up the bid documents. These included Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo, Reliance Jio, Discovery Sport, Sky, British Telecom and ESPN Digital Media. Only Star and Sony’s bids were found to be eligible for the broadcast rights after the initial evaluation.
In 2008, only six companies had bought the bid document for the first cycle, which consisted of only television rights. World Sports Group had won the rights for the Indian market for 10 years for $918 million. In 2009, Sony Pictures Network bought the rights for a period of 10 years with a bid of $1.63 billion, or Rs 8,200 crore. The global digital rights of IPL for a period of three years was awarded to Star India in 2015 for Rs 302.2 crore.
Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this story said that Reliance Jio, and not Airtel, had submitted the second-highest bid for the Indian subcontinent digital rights. The error has been corrected.