Six months after securing the biggest television deal in cricket for the IPL, the BCCI is now preparing to sell the broadcast and digital rights for Indian cricket - both domestic and international. These rights will be sold via e-auction, on March 27, with the rights period running from April 1 this year to March 31, 2023.*
The rights have been split across three categories: a global television rights plus rest-of-world digital rights package, an Indian-subcontinent digital rights package, and a global consolidated rights package.
In 2012, when the rights were last sold, Star TV won the bid, paying Rs 3851 crore (at the time, USD 750 million approx) for 96 matches. That contract runs out on March 31, 2018.
In that contract, the pricing varied over two stages: Star paid the BCCI INR 32.2 crore (USD 6.3m approx) per match from 2012 to 2014, and INR 43.20 crore (USD 8.5m approx) for matches from 2014 to 2018.
But, in the wake of the record-breaking INR 16,347.5 crore (USD 2.55 billion) deal bagged by Star for the IPL rights, media pundits have wondered whether Indian cricket can attract similarly top-end bids. Under the IPL deal, which includes both broadcast and digital rights, Star pays the BCCI virtually INR 55 crore (USD 8.47m approx) per IPL match.
The BCCI remains unconcerned. It has stuck to the strategy of limiting the rights period to five years, as had been the case with the various deals - including the IPL one - carried out in the past year.
The invitation-to-tender document will be available to interested bidders till March 5, and is priced at USD 10,000 (INR 6.5 lakh approx). The BCCI will conduct a workshop on the specifics of the online auction for these bidders on March 7. The BCCI has said that bids can be submitted till 10am IST on March 27, five hours before the start of the e-auction.
*18.30 IST, February 21: The article had erroneously stated that the IPL rights were sold via e-auction; closed bids were submitted by bidders in that case, to decide the winner of the rights.
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo