In September 2017, when Star India shelled out Rs 16, 347.50 crore for the Indian Premier League rights, it took many by surprise. The bid essentially meant that every match in the IPL was worth Rs 54.5 crore per match.
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.
The staggering deal, which will run from 2018 to 2022, has turned out to be a financial windfall for the Board of Control for Cricket in India despite the administrative crisis it is facing.
It was also a testimony to IPL’s growth as the premier sporting property of the country given that the previous 10-year bid for TV rights only was bought by Sony at Rs 8200 crore in 2008.
But now, it looks like Star India is trying to cash in on the rights in every way possible. According to The Times of India, the broadcaster has written to the BCCI asking them to allow political advertisements during the IPL season.
The Media Rights Agreement, signed between BCCI and Star, clearly states under Clause 8.6 (B) that “slotting of any political and/or religious advertisements during transmission is not permitted.”
Despite that Star has written to the BCCI pointing out the ‘tremendous revenue potential’ of the election season. The BCCI have not yet responded to Star’s request.
Under the rules of the tender, Star will have to pay a minimum 16% of the overall IPL bid amount per year.