It will certainly be an epic contest as social network giant Facebook and search giant Google will face a fierce competition from the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and Hotstar, the Indian digital and media entertainment platform for Indian cricket’s digital rights for the next five years.
According to a report published in the Times of India, the BCCI has deliberately rescheduled the e-auction of bilateral rights from March 27 to April 3, taking time to send out necessary clarifications to those who had picked up the tender document.
The report further claims that the much-awaited auction will be held for the following packages: A) Global Television Rights plus ROW Digital Rights Package; B) Indian Subcontinent Digital Rights Package; C) Global Consolidated Rights Package.
The base price for the first of five years of online rights per match has been fixed at Rs 8 cr and for the next four years at Rs 7 cr per match, the report suggested while it stated that the base price for the television rights for the first year is Rs 35 cr per match and Rs 33 cr per match for the next four years.
Currently, the most popular social media platform i.e. Facebook has been surrounded by the political storm for being involved in the data harvesting “scam”. Last year, it had made a huge Rs 3900 cr bid for the Indian Premier League (IPL) digital rights – the highest bid in that particular category. However, they had fallen short only because of Star India’s consolidated Rs 16,347.5 cr winning bid.
Alternately, with Facebook TV looking to fare well, Google blossoming on the video platform by means of Youtube, Jio Infocomm launching an interactive Cricket Channel on JioTV App and Hotstar being an offshoot of Star India's flourishing television market, sources in the cricket industry say “don’t be surprised if these digital giants have bigger plans than merely bidding for the internet rights”, the report stated.
“Google was said to be in the running for the IPL digital rights last year, only to be fronted by a leading Indian mobile network company. This time, Google has picked up the tender document and is expected to make a serious attempt on its own. South Asia content provider Yupp TV, founded by Uday Reddy, has also picked up the tender document, making for a total of six contenders,” the report further mentioned.