The broadcast rights for the IPL, ever since its inception in 2008, has been with Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI). The BCCI is set to have an open bidding process for the next 10 years after SPNI's contract expires in 2017. The new deal could be a fight among top broadcasters, including SPNI and Star India, who have the rights to telecast ICC's global events as well as BCCI's national team and domestic matches.
SPNI has informed the BCCI about the existing first rights clause in their IPL contract. But, the BCCI is no mood to negotiate such deals with Sony.
With the cricket body being under the scanner of the Supreme Court, they want a transparent bidding process to take shape, and for which and the tenders are also expected to be floated soon. The BCCI, reportedly, has given SPNI a time frame to understand the need of holding an open bid for telecast rights.
"A 10-day window to arrive at an understanding that a broadcast rights deal of such high value can't be held inside a closed room and needs to undergo a transparent bidding process," Times of India quoted a source as saying.
As it stands, the SPNI might have no option but to take part in the bidding, if they are to have any chances of wining the telecast rights for the mega T20 carnival in India. If they end up losing the rights to Star or another broadcaster, Sony do have the option of taking BCCI to court, but SPNI may refrain from doing so in order to remain in the good books of the Indian cricket board.
Besides the broadcast deal, which is expected to bring massive revenues, worth around Rs 16,000 crore for a period of 10 years, tenders will be invited for digital rights as well. Along with Hotstar and Sonyliv, giants like Facebook and Google could also show interest in the deal.