Three candidates are likely to participate in the BCCI media rights auction, which will be held on August 31. With the technical bid submission date today, only Disney-Star, Sony Pictures Network and Viacom18 are the broadcasters that have submitted their bids.
Zee has pulled out of the race, now that the National Company Law Tribunal has cleared the Zee-Sony merger. Google, FanCode and Amazon were also potentially showing interest in the BCCI rights; however, they have pulled out of the race as well.
Earlier this month, BCCI had released the e-auction tender to sell rights for all formats of international cricket India will play at home in the next five years, between September 2023 and March 2028.
Following success on selling IPL’s digital and linear rights separately, BCCI is doing the same of these auctions as well.
BCCI has also increased the base price for the digital rights, after the digital rights being sold at a much higher price in the IPL auctions.
Base price per match for the digital rights is ₹25 crore, while the linear rights are priced at ₹20 crore per match.
The India vs Australia series which will happen in September will kick off the new cycle. Experts indicate that Sony in particular might want to acquire these rights, to set up its OTT venture under the Zee-Sony merger for success.
On the counter however, reports also suggest that Disney Star, Sony and Reliance might not have big enough purses for the upcoming auctions, as the base price is extremely high. The combined base price for TV and digital stands at Rs 3960 crore, and BCCI expects atleast Rs 60 crore per match.
Zee, however, is still not completely out of the race as they can jointly bid with Sony with BCCI allowing a consortium bid. BCCI had purposefully delayed its rights auction, awaiting NCLT approval for the Zee-Sony merger. The entire merger process is set to be completed by mid-November this year, after which Zee-Sony will be a formidable broadcaster, directly competing with Disney-Star.
Disney Star at present holds the TV and digital rights for these matches