The first day of the e-auction for the media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) concluded on Sunday, with the combined value of television (TV) and digital rights surpassing the Rs 43,000-crore mark, according to people in the know .
At this rate, the combined value of TV and digital rights, so far, has crossed the previous rights value of Rs 16,347.50 by more than two and a half times.
On a per-match basis, the IPL is now just behind the US’ National Football League (NFL) in terms of cost to a broadcaster at $13.5 million (Rs 105 crore). The NFL commands a per-match value of $17 million (Rs 132.26 crore), while the Premier League (English football league) has a per-match value of $11 million (Rs 85.58 crore).
The combined TV and digital value is also Rs 10,000 crore more than the reserve price of nearly Rs 33,000 crore, which was set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the current media rights cycle (2023-27 period).
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The bidding for TV and digital rights has not concluded yet, according to the sources, implying that the combined value may breach the Rs 50,000-crore-mark on Monday. Bidding for the special rights package and the rest-of-world rights will also happen on Monday. The final winners are expected to be announced by the end of the day, they said.
While the e-auction platform does not allow participants to see who is placing bids, according to people in the know, Disney-Star, Sony Pictures Networks India, and Viacom18 have set their sights on the TV rights for the Indian subcontinent for all games , which is the package A. For digital rights for the Indian subcontinent, which is package B, Zee was competing with Disney+ Hotstar and Jio, part of the Reliance-backed Viacom18 combine.
The TV rights per match are estimated to have crossed Rs 55 crore per match at the end of Day 1 of the e-auction, higher than Rs 49 crore per match set by the BCCI as base price. Digital rights cost neared Rs 50 crore per match at the end of bidding on Sunday, the sources said. This is over 50 per cent higher than the Rs 33 crore per match base price set by the cricketing body before the e-auction.
Following Day 1 of bidding, the combined TV and digital rights value on a per-match basis has surpassed the Rs 100-crore mark, up from Rs 54.5 crore during the 2018-2022 media rights cycle, experts said.
“We believe that the digital segment will be at par with TV, at best, on a per-match basis. We do not see it moving beyond TV though. This is because TV still has a lot of large fast-moving consumer goods advertisers The digital segment, despite strong growth, has concerns around monetisation, as India is a price-sensitive market with tepid average revenue per user,” Karan Taurani, senior vice-president, research, Elara Capital, said.
Taurani said that he expected the other two bundles (special package and rest-of-world) to command a premium of almost 40-45 per cent over the base price, which means total value of the media rights shall breach the Rs 50,000-crore mark at the end of the auction.
The build-up to the e-auction, incidentally, was eventful, with at least 10 companies picking up bid documents last month. However, just seven remained in the race, with tech giants, such as Amazon, Google, and Apple, opting out of the e-auction process.
“Amazon and Google did not submit technical bids (on Friday), though they had picked up the bid documents (last month),” a BCCI official had said.
“Companies that submitted technical bids included Disney-Star, Sony, Zee, Viacom18, Times Internet, Supersport from South Africa, and FunAsia, which is a media company based in North America,” the official said.