It all began 10 years ago with a successful initiation of one of sport’s most astute business models that would go on to change the dynamics of the game – from a cricketing as well as a financial viewpoint – forever.
On Monday, the onus will once again be on the IPL to show the way forward as cricket looks to realign itself with the global generational shift. In effect, the media rights Auction to be played out at a five-star facility from 9.30 am today will spell out how big-ticket investors see the growth of the game over the next five years.
In the fray are 24 companies that have picked up the Invitation To Tender (ITT) to bid for the broadcast and Digital Rights of the property in the Indian subcontinent and global markets for the next five years. The auction will be live-streamed on the website of the Indian cricket board – to add to the transparency conundrum – as Star India Pvt Ltd and Sony Pictures Network (SPN) gear up to battle for the pie. The pie happens to be the television rights, one that were held by Sony this last decade. On the side are the digital rights, saucing up the spread that all other players will be after. Law firm Cyril Amarchand Manlgaldas will look into the legalities of the process while leading audit firm Deloitte is on board to look into the t technical aspect.
Bids have been called for television and digital rights across categories that separate the Indian sub-continent from other continents that include USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa regions and the rest of the world. Prospective bidders have the option of submitting a consolidated bid with a breakdown of the sum of parts or a breakdown of bids depending on the market they’re eyeing for.
A lot has been written already about the kind of figures that can be expected at an auction of this stature, purely to be calculated on the strength of Indian viewership in the t subcontinent and the overseas Indian diaspora alone that has predominantly catered to cricket’s well-being. At this point, it is not the figures that spell out the importance of this auction.
To the contrary, it’s the playing field that will matter. The world’s leading e-commerce company, Amazon, has picked the ITT alongside social media giants Facebook and Twitter. Whether they submit a bid on Monday or not will underline if cricket’s time to move across continents has arrived or there’s time yet.
Twenty20, the format that fuels the IPL, was always a product to be packaged for prime-time. However, it was the brainwave to pitch it through the entertainment sector and not merely sport that helped the league cement its position as a property to be reckoned with.
When bidders line up at the auction table today, this factor alone is once again bound to raise the stakes. Having set the bar first in assessing that the line between live sports action and prime-time entertainment has to blend, IPL can be expected to redraw the map for global cricket once again after 10 years.
Source : timesofindia