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BCCI gets a breather as Supreme Court rules out e-auction for IPL media rights

September 1 has been selected as the new date for the submission of Invitation To Tender (ITT).

BCCI IPL
A view of logo of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). (Photo by Aniruddha Chowhdury/Mint via Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) can now take a huge sigh of relief as the Supreme Court nullified the suggestion of holding and e-auction for the IPL media rights. According to the court, there is no need to carry an e-auction and it will not hamper the IPL media rights process. The suggestion of having an e-auction for the IPL media rights was given by MP Subramanian Swamy in his petition which according to him would have ensured transparency considering the Lodha reforms.

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As the Supreme Court has taken the decision to rule out an e-auction, the BCCI can now carry on with a closed tender process which will maintain privacy. There are three categories in which the rights are divided and they are Indian Sub-continent Television Rights, Indian Sub-continent Digital Rights and Rest of the world (ROW) Media Rights.

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September 1 has been selected as the new date for the submission of Invitation To Tender (ITT).

Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official said “The endeavour has always been to take the T20 league to a new level with each passing year. Making it bigger and better, keeping cricket as the centre of focus has been the primary objective and the interest shown in the bidding once again shows how the brand has moved forward. As for the rescheduling, it was an effort to keep in mind the bank holidays so that the potential bidders don’t face an issue,”.

“The Prime Minister says we must move to the digital world. Why should the BCCI conduct an auction physically? Why should it happen in a closed room? The Supreme Court has also said wherever e-auction is possible, it should be resorted to,” Swamy wrote to the Supreme Court urging for an e-auction.

Star India, Amazon Seller Services, Followon Interactive Media, Taj TV India, Sony Pictures Networks, Times Internet, Supersport International, Reliance Jio Digital, Gulf DTH FZ LLC, GroupM Media, beIN, Econet Media, SKY UK, ESPN Digital Media, BTG Legal Services, BT PLC, Twitter, Facebook Inc are the 18 companies that are eligible to make a bid.

All the companies that showed interest in 2016 while buying the ITT are automatically eligible to submit their bids. It was not their fault that BCCI was not allowed to go ahead with the process. They won’t be charged any extra cost for bid document. Now we have 20 companies including YuppTv and Discovery Communications that are eligible,” a senior BCCI official had said.

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