IPL broadcast-rights bidding process to begin on July 17

The next cycle of IPL broadcast rights will be awarded for five years BCCI

A day before the end of IPL 2017, the BCCI has announced that the tender process for the next cycle of IPL television and digital rights will commence on July 17. The rights will be awarded for five years after the current rights expire at the end of this edition of the tournament.

Presently, Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) holds the television rights, while Star India is in possession of the digital and overseas media rights. The BCCI had opened the tender process in September last year, but the process then stalled as the tussle between the Lodha Committee and the board continued.

The IPL governing council, according to a BCCI release, finalised the timelines for various tender processes for the IPL at a meeting in Hyderabad on Saturday, "after due deliberation with the concurrence of the Committee of Administrators [CoA]". "I'm pleased that both the governing council and CoA members have finalised the timelines for the next rights period," IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said. "The early announcement will also help the prospective bidders/service providers to prepare well."

Vinod Rai, the chairman of the CoA - which was appointed by the Supreme Court of India in January to supervise the BCCI till it fell in line with the Lodha recommendations - also expressed confidence about "the process" and said he "would like to assure all prospective participants the highest level of transparency and accountability".

As opposed to this arrangement of a five-year contract cycle across media platforms, the media rights tender opened in September had offered television rights for a period of ten years while digital and overseas media rights were awarded for five years. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri had said then that the BCCI wanted to continue with the existing model, by which SPNI held the television rights from 2008 to 2017. "In our country, television is very well established," he had said. "If you look at most cricket tenders, eight years-ten years have been the norm. That's why we went for ten years. The area where trends are changing very fast is digital. That's why we have reduced digital to five years." At that point, major non-television entities such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Reliance Jio were among the 18 companies that had shown interest in the rights.

Now, the governing council also announced that the invitation to tender for the title sponsorship of the IPL will begin on May 31. The two-year agreement of Vivo, the current title sponsor, will come to a close at the end of the ongoing edition of the IPL. The governing council members also decided to float the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the IPL Event Services contract on June 12.