IPL Media Rights: Viacom’s digital proposal challenged by Sony

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IPL Media Rights
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Even as the dust has settled on the media rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL), fresh facts have surfaced that are generally at odds with common belief. The Letter of Intent (LOI) has been formally handed over to the winning parties by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Cricbuzz has discovered that Viacom18 was No. 2 in the television rights, while Sony was the challenger who drove the price of Package C past INR 33 Crore, after speaking to several players in the three-day IPL e-auction, which ended on Wednesday, June 14.

It can be confirmed that Viacom, which paid over INR 27,000 crore for the two digital packages – B and C – was leading in both the primary categories – A and B – by the end of Day 1 (June 12), when the bids closed at INR 57 crore per game for television rights and INR 48 crore per game for digital rights.

Viacom sold the linear rights for Rs 57.5 crore on Day 2 for strategic reasons. They then went on to get the digital rights (Package B) for each game for INR 50 crore.

On Days 2 and 3, a close race for the non-exclusive Package C was seen, and it was speculated that Star, who had already secured the TV rights, was pursuing the modest digital package.

However, it has since been revealed that Sony, not Disney Star, was vying for the rights, which Viacom ultimately won for INR 33.24. The non-exclusive package’s initial price was INR 16 crore, but heated bidding between Viacom and Sony saw it rocket over the reserve price.

Package C, as has been generally accepted, was the game-changer in the entire offer, pushing the ultimate price up to a whopping INR 48,390 crore.

Meanwhile, it has been established that the IPL rights would not be subjected to the same lengthy due diligence procedure as the franchise rights were last year when they were sold.

Before reaching an agreement with CVC for the Ahmedabad franchise, the BCCI had to go through a thorough review procedure and have a couple of Governing Council sessions.

However, it was learned that the board has sent letters of intent (LOI) to all of the winners and is close to negotiating a Media Rights Agreement (MRA) with them this time.

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