IPL Media Rights Auction: IPL Media Rights: Bidders cannot enter the park

As Cricket Control Board of India (BCCI) is looking for a windfall in the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights auction, sports marketing experts expect bids to be lower than previously expected, especially with Amazon, Google and Dream11 choosing to stay out.

As ET reported on June 11, four leading broadcasters are vying for television and digital rights – copyright holder DisneystarSony Pictures Networks India (SPN), owned by Reliance Viakom18 as well as

(SEE). They will begin placing bids for five-year rights to the largest sports property in India today starting at 11:00 am.

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Who will win the media rights to the mega Indian Premier League? The total value of media rights exceeded 43,000 crores on the first day. Watch

While some reports say that winning applications could hit the Rs 60,000-65,000 crore mark, experts polled by ET estimate it closer to Rs 48,000-50,000 crore for the 2023-27 rights cycle. At the reserve price, BCCI will receive around Rs 36,000 crore, more than double DisneyStar’s winning bid of Rs 16,347.5 crore last time.

“It will be predictable,” said the senior sports marketing manager. “In fact, there are three applicants – DisneyStar, Viacom18 and Sony-ZEE. Even if the (Sony-ZEE) merger hasn’t happened yet, they will probably have the understanding that one company will deal with TV and the other with digital rights. It will be too much to have both in your accounts.

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According to the expert, Viacom18 is likely to be the most aggressive bidder as the IPL will give it scale through sports broadcasts, adding weight to its entertainment business.

“Moreover, Uday Shankar will have to reclaim his position in the media and entertainment space and prove that the latest IPL win at Star was no surprise,” the person said. “Getting those rights will be critical for him and the company.”

Shankar and James Murdoch recently invested in

Industrial owned Viacom18 through Bodhi Tree Systems. The latter is a platform promoted by Shankar and Murdoch’s Lupa Systems. DisneyStar will also work hard to keep the rights, but not go broke.

“It’s not a do-or-die situation for them,” the expert said. “DisneyStar has ICC (International Cricket Council) rights and cricket rights in India for another year. With a longstanding relationship with the ICC and other international councils, he won’t have to be too aggressive. So it’s good for them to have IPL rights, but it’s not necessary.”

Still, the SPN could come as a surprise, said an analyst who advised one of the bidders. “Sony is like a wild card in the pack,” the person said. “They are more flexible in their financial decisions than Disney and they know what the IPL can do to grow the network.”

This is the first time the BCCI has clarified the total number of matches. The reserve price is based on 74 matches per season, according to the tender documentation, which also mentions that the board reserves the right to increase or decrease the total number of matches in a season. It has informed all potential applicants that it intends to play 410 matches in the next five years instead of 370 (or 74 per season).

In the first season of 2023 there will be 74 matches. IPL 2024 and 2025 will feature 84 matches each. In 2026 and 2027, teams will play a total of 94 games each.

“Based on 410 matches, stakes are unlikely to exceed Rs 50,000-52,000 crore,” said a senior broadcast network executive. “We all know how much you can earn from TV, so we can start with a reserve price of Rs 49 crore per match for TV. But there must be a limit. The reserve price of Rs 33 crore per match is grossly inflated…After Rs 40,000 crore, you can’t earn.”

In addition, it is the value that each of the bidders places on their strategic intentions, be it market share or customer acquisition. “But it can’t be at the transaction or P&L level,” he said.