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Rahul Johri believes that IPL media rights numbers are great compliment to the game

Uday Shankar the CEO of Star India was pleased they were able to bag the rights and doesn't think the kind of money they are paying is more than what is deserved.

Rahul Johri
Rahul Johri. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The auction for the broadcasting rights of the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL) was conducted yesterday. As many as 14 companies turned up with their bids, but it was Star India, who eventually bagged the media rights India, overseas as well as the digital rights for the T20 extravaganza shelling out a whopping INR 16,347.50 crores for a period of five years.

The IPL kicked off in 2008 and Sony Pictures bought the broadcast rights for the first ten years for INR 8200 crores. It is the growing popularity of the league and its overall stature that ensured the board attracted such high bids for the tournament. Another notable fact now is that the value of IPL matches will be more than Team India’s home games.

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Quite rightly, Rahul Johri, the CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was elated by the progress of the auctions. He pointed out that cricket is not only gaining in popularity, among fans but also among the investors.

“It is a game-defining moment. Look at the most aggressive digital bid that came today. It came from a hardcore American company (Facebook) which has never had cricket on its radar. If you look at the interests of Sony and Star and ultimately the final number (winning bid), this is by far the highest number that has been put on cricket,” he added.

The CEO also highlighted the importance of staying focused in order to generate revenue for the BCCI despite countering several legal tussles.

Star India CEO talks about the bids

Uday Shankar the CEO of Star India was pleased they were able to bag the rights and doesn’t think the kind of money they are paying is more than what is deserved. While a few termed it an insane amount Uday is certain the value IPL has for a broadcaster was the reason they put up that big a bid.

“Never has been the case when rights have been so closely contested. If you see, bulk of the value is sitting on India television and India digital rights and that number in itself is Rs 11,050 crore (Sony) and Rs 3900 crore (Facebook),” he said in an interview with Economic Times.

“We are talking about Rs 15,000 crore there itself. It’s not that there were just two bidders. There were multiple parties and three bids for digital rights were over Rs 3,000 crore and not one of those bids came from traditional media firms,” Shankar added.

“All these years, facebook has not spent a single rupee on content here in India and then they go and put Rs 3900 crore on IPL. This should give you a sense on what is the value people are attributing to IPL and even more than that what is the level of excitement for the content business in India,” he said.

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