On Monday, the biggest ever cricket deal went down in Mumbai. With a bid of Rs Rs 16,347.50 crore, Star India 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, 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.
Five hundred and twenty eight. That’s a critical number in the context of what Star managed to pull of on Monday.
Here’s an official breakdown of the bids:
Now, Star – the only brand to submit a global bid – has underbid in every other category, separately. None of the significant individual highest bids were made by them. The major categories are obviously telecast and digital in India. In the former, Star was way below Sony and the latter, they are behind every other bidder – Facebook, Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Times Internet Limited. Star’s digital property, Hotstar, had the digital rights for the past three seasons.
And this is where it gets interesting. Hypothetically speaking, if Sony – who surprisingly only fought for telecast rights in the subcontinent among the primary categories – had a bid that was greater by Rs 528 crore, Star’s global bid would have been no longer the highest. Or for that matter, a combination of bids from, say, Facebook and Sony had been greater than that number, the result would have been the same. The individual highest bids put together would have tipped ahead of Star’s magic number: 16,347.50.
In that scenario, the BCCI would have gone with the highest bidders in individual segments.
And you know what that means? Star India would neither have the digital or telecast rights in India.