Bengaluru, March 13: Rush to grab the BCCI media rights for the five-year cycle between 2019-2023 is yet to reach a peak point despite the deadline of March 27, incidentally the day of bidding too, approaching fast.
While an IPL level frenzy is not expected, the disinterest among the probable bidders has worried the BCCI mandarins.
Reasons are varied.
A. Major players like Star and Sony already have multiple deals with them. Star has bagged the IPL rights and they also are the right holders New Zealand Cricket.
While Sony has the right of seven other cricket boards - Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
In short, the Indian channels acquiring rights of other countries have dwindled their dependency on the BCCI rights to earn money.
B. Ambiguity surrounding the schedule of Indian cricket team over the contract period - in this case five years. Major players will always have doubts regarding hastily cobbled together tours that may not feature on the original schedule.
But the right holders will not able to say no to the series because of the contractual obligations, in simpler terms covering a series taking a vastly inadequate compensation. This can scuttle their best laid budget plans for the cycle.
The BCCI initiative
Now, the BCCI has woken up to this fact and are in the process of releasing a date-wise schedule for seasons between 2019 and 2023. "This is a first. The media right holders will not have to deal with ambiguity any more as they will soon have schedule for the next five years with them. This is also an effort to bring in transparency in the bidding process," BCCI CEO Rahul Johri told Mykhel.com
"It is essential because right awarding is a three stage process - global TV/digital rights, subcontinent rights and the pure digital rights. So we need to facilitate a flexible environment for bidders," said Johri.
The right holders' house too has welcomed the BCCI move. "It's a move in the right direction. The broadcasters now can laid down a proper plan - covering as well as budget - for five years and that is not an insignificant period. This can get some more intense bidding for the BCCI rights and adds more brand value. The advantage of having a clear schedule is evident in the heavy takers for IPL media rights," representative of a broadcast house told Mykhel.