IPL Media Rights: Amazon Pulls Out of Bidding War, Viacom18 is Strongest Contender, Says BCCI

The much-anticipated duel between Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani for acquiring one of the world’s costliest sporting properties won’t materialize now as OTT giants Amazon on Friday pulled out IPL media rights bidding, scheduled to start on Sunday.

Reliance Industries Limited-owned Viacom18 is considered one of the strongest contenders in the TV and digital space.

Bezos-funded Amazon was expected to be one of the biggest bidders in digital space but pulled out of the race without revealing the reason.

“Yes, Amazon is out of the race. They didn’t join the technical bidding process today. As far as Google (YouTube) is concerned, they had picked up the bid document but didn’t submit it. Currently, ten companies (TV and streaming) are in the fray,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

A four-way battle —There are four specific packages in which e-auction will be conducted for 74 games per season for five years from 2023 to 2027 with a provision of increasing the number of matches to 94 in the final two years.

Package A has Indian sub-continent exclusive TV (broadcast) rights, while Package B covers digital rights for the Indian sub-continent.

Package C is for 18 selected games each season for digital space, while Package D (all games) will be for combined TV and digital rights for overseas markets.

“Let’s make it clear, the Viacom 18 JV (Joint Venture), current rights holder Walt Disney (Star), Zee, and Sony are the four contenders for the packages with solid footprints in both TV and digital market,” the official said.

Some other contenders, primarily for digital space, are Times Internet, FunAsia, Dream11, and FanCode, while Sky Sports (UK) and Supersport (South Africa) will be vying for overseas TV and digital rights.

The last time, Star India bought rights for both TV and digital with a composite bid of Rs. 16crores,50 crore but t, but his time, the combined base price was more than Rs.crores00 crore.

This time, all bidders will have to make separate bids for each package.

As of Friday, some of the big players involved with the bidding process feel that Rs. 45,000 crore is the amount BCCI could expect, which will be a two-and-a-half times increase in valuation.

PTI has prepared ‘Ready Reckoner’ for IPL Media Rights


Q: What are the dates of the media rights auction?

A: It is expected for two days — June 12 and 13.

Q: What is the period of IPL Media Rights?

A: The period is for five years, from 2023-2027.

Q: Number of matches per season?

A: It is 74, with the provision going up to 94 in the last two seasons.

Q: What is the current valuation of IPL Media Rights?

A: Rs 16,347.50 crore for both TV and Digital with Star India.

Q: What are the packages on offer?

A: TV Rights for the Indian sub-continent at Rs. 49 crores per game.

B: Digital Rights for the Indian sub-continent at Rs. 33 crores per game.

C: 18-match, non-exclusive digital package at Rs. 11 crores per game.

D: Overseas TV and Digital Rights at Rs. 3 crores per game.

Q: What is the composite base price for all packages?

A: Total composite base price for all four packages is Rs. 32,440 crores.

Break-up: Package A is Rs. 18,130 crores (74x49x5), Package B is Rs. 12,210crorese (74x33x5), Package C is Rs. 990 crores (18x11x5), Package D is Rs. 1110 crore (74x3x5)

Q: Which are major companies bidding?

A: There are ten companies in the fray: Viacom18 JV (Joint Venture) with Lupa Systems (Uday Shankar and James Murdoch), Walt Disney (Star), Zee, and Sony (both India media and digital rights).

Times Internet, Fan Code, FunAsia, Dream11 (only digital rights).

Supersport (South Africa) and Sky Sports (UK) are vying for Overseas TV and Digital rights.

Q: Can one entity make a composite bid like Star did last time?

A: No. Every package will be awarded to the highest bidder.

For example, Facebook presented the highest digital bid for Rs. 3900 crores in 2017; Star grabbed the rights with a huge composite offer despite the lower digital request.

Q: Can one entity get two packages?

A: Yes, that is possible. Suppose Star has the highest bid for India TV rights (Package A) for an ‘x’ amount, and Sony places the highest bid for India digital rights for ‘y; both north the companies can challenge the other in a tie-breaker.

Q: Which package could see a close fight?

A: Package C, which has non-exclusive rights for 18 games that include the opening match, the final, three play-offs, and a few weekdoubleheadersders.

All major players (Viacom, Zee, Sony, Star) want to own this digital packaCompanies would like to buy it to kill competition. Ge. Suppose a company wins India digital rights and loses out on non-exclusive rights. In that case, it loses out on massive revenue (advertisement plus subscriptions) for those 18 games which can be accessed on any other platform.

Q: What is the type of auction that is being held?

A: Like last time, it will be an e-auction where companies can raise their bids by Rs—50 crore in one go. E-auction is transparent an time-consuming mind.

Q: What is kind of money expected by the BCCI?

A: The BCCI is expecting that over and above their Rs. 32,440 crore composite base price, it could earn another Rs. 12,000 to 12,500 crore, which may take the valuation up to Rs. 45,000.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.