The Star India Pvt. Ltd. bagged the audio-visual production rights for the upcoming 2018-19 season of the Indian Premier League. The deal also extends Star’s production rights over Board of Control for Cricket in India’s domestic circuit as well for the same time period. The company already has the monopoly over the media rights for the IPL.
The BCCI had earlier invited RFP (Request for Proposal) documents relating to the production rights of the world’s richest domestic T20 cricket competition. With Star India Pvt. Ltd and the International Management Group (IMG) as the only bidders, Star emerged as the winner and would be producing live content of the league for the first time.
The announcement was made in the third week of February 2018, when BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary issued an official statement. However, the amount of the deal was not made public by BCCI.
Star India had also claimed the league’s media rights for all the markets in 2017 in a fierce bidding that had involved giants such as Sony Pictures Limited and Facebook. Until 2017, the broadcasting rights of the league were held by Sony, who couldn’t match Star India’s whopping bid of Rs. 16,347.5 crores.
This deal had made IPL 2018 matches more valuable than international matches as Star India is now set to pay around 55 crores per match, a sum which is way higher than what is paid for international matches. The intense bidding war reflects India’s obsession with the game, especially with the T20 League, despite the infamous fixing scandal associated in 2013.
By acquiring the production rights for IPL, Star India has strengthened its stronghold in the Indian market, which is a major draw for sponsors and advertisers. The contract term, which is of one year for both IPL and domestic cricket, can be extended by BCCI at its discretion. Star Group, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, also holds the telecasting rights of India’s international matches played at home along with ICC’s 18 international events.
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