The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday awarded the global Internet and mobile rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, a unit of Star India Pvt. Ltd, for Rs.302.2 crore for a three-year period ending 2017.
The marketing committee of the BCCI met in Mumbai on Tuesday, to receive the bids made for certain media rights relating to the Pepsi IPL for the next three seasons, for which a cumulative reserve price of Rs.120 crore was set.
Bids from three entities were received—Times Internet Ltd, Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd (MSM), which operates the Sony bouquet of channels, and Novi Digital Entertainment.
According to a BCCI official who declined to be named, MSM’s bid price was Rs.286 crore while Times Internet bid Rs.191 crore.
The committee, after following the due tender process, awarded the media rights to Novi Digital Entertainment, for a cumulative fee of Rs.302.2 crore for the next three seasons, starting with IPL 8—expected to start on 8 April.
MSM has the TV rights for IPL.
“Our partnership with Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd augurs well for the Pepsi IPL (cricket tournament), as well as the millions of fans who follow the tournament, and we are delighted to commence an association with the organization whose bid was found to be the most deserving,” said Sanjay Patel, secretary, BCCI.
Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer of Star India, said the matches would be streamed on the company’s recently launched digital platform, Hotstar.
Star India already has another digital platform, StarSports.com, which works on paid subscriptions.
The company is yet to take the decision on whether to stream matches on StarSports.com also.
Gupta added that IPL 7 recorded 64 million video views on StarSports.com, and that they expect a jump of 50% or more in the numbers this year.
Cumulative online views for IPL 3 in 2010 were 55 million. This jumped to 72 million in 2011.
India now has 300 million Internet users, up from 200 million a year ago, with a little more than 50% having access to mobile Internet.
Awarded to Times Internet in 2011 for Rs.261.6 crore, IPL’s digital and mobile rights were more expensive this time.
However, it wouldn’t be fair to compare the two, said another bidder who declined to be named as the time period differs.
“It’s comparing apples with oranges. The last contract was for four years while this one is for three years. Even the territories awarded are different. The price of the digital media rights for IPL has gone up, which is a good indicator for the digital business.”
And India has more Internet users, more smartphones, and more people who watch online videos now.