The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights, and many players across broadcast and digital platforms have shown interest.
Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) and Star India were already revealed as the two main competitors for acquiring the broadcast rights of the Indian cricket league post-the-end of IPL 2017. The latest development is that American e-commerce and cloud computing company Amazon has picked up the tender document in an effort to bag the IPL digital rights. Whether Google, Twitter or Facebook follow them, remains to be seen now.
As many as six firms have bought the ITT document and one of them is Zee Television of Essel Group, besides Sony and Star, according to the Ahmedabad Mirror. The Zee-owned Ten Sports was recently sold to Sony Pictures in a Rs 2,600 crore all-cash deal.
"Everybody's talking about the possibility of the IPL rights battle being between Star and Sony. But our guess is there are going to be surprises in store," a source close to the development told the Times of India.
The broadcast rights for the IPL, ever since its inception in 2008, have been with SPNI, but the BCCI is no mood to negotiate any 'first rights clause' deals with Sony. The BCCI, on the other hand, is set to have an open bidding process for the next 10 years after SPNI's contract expires in 2017.
Apart from the broadcast deal, which is expected to bring massive revenues, worth around Rs 16,000 crore over a period of 10 years, tenders have also been invited for the digital rights.