Star Sports bags BCCI media rights for INR 6138.1 Crore

IPL players

IPL players

Star Sports India Pvt Ltd has pipped Reliance Industries Limited and Sony Pictures Networks India to acquire the BCCI media rights, for both television and digital platforms, for a period of five years (2018-2023) with a whopping bid of INR 6138.1 Crores, the Indian cricket board announced on April 5 (Thursday).

In its previous bid, Star India had acquired the BCCI media rights for Indian cricket for an amount of Rs. 3,851 crores.

Sony Pictures Network now holds the rights to the IPL and had plans of launching their own channel named "Six" had their bid won.

Strengthening their sports portfolio, they even paid Rs 12,320 crore for the broadcast right to ICC tournaments between 2015 to 2023. The five-year calendar is packed with 102 matches which will be played by teams which have posed good competition to Team India. Day one of the bidding ended at Rs 4442 crore.

Bennett, Coleman, and Company were also trying to attain rights, which would give streaming rights to channels like TV18 and Reliance.

As things stand, the average cost per match for the Indian cricket rights is about INR 59 cr, which is higher than the average cost per IPL game for the 2018-22 period - INR 54.5 cr - when Star India bought the rights in September 2017. On Thursday, after an intense bidding battle which lasted for three days, old horse Star emerged as the eventual winners.

"It is very hard to pick an exact figure as this is the first time that we are having an e-auction and everyone is trying to understand how the whole process works".

The BCCI domestic media rights are finally decided at the highest ₹6,138.1 for the Consolidated Rights package. Even assuming it makes another Rs 5 billion from channel subscription, its revenue, most experts say, will fall far short of its cost of acquiring the property at least for this year (of some of the worldwide rights for the IPL will also give them money).

Asked about the experience of participating and winning in an e-auction for the first time, Shankar added, "The experience was like a movie that was great, but it wasn't just coming to an end".

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