The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is gearing up for a significant event in the cricket world as it prepares to auction the media rights for bilateral cricket matches scheduled to be played in India over the next five years. The auction is scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 31, marking a crucial juncture for cricket broadcasting in the country.
The upcoming broadcast cycle is set to span from September 2023 to March 2028. During this period, a total of 88 matches are expected to be played, including 25 Test matches, 27 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 36 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). The matches are anticipated to be intense encounters between various cricketing nations, with the likes of Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh being part of the cricketing action.
In this digital age, media rights encompass both television and digital platforms. Viacom18, the entity that holds the digital rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL), is also poised to consider the digital rights for matches featuring the Indian cricket team. On the other hand, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) TV rights are under the purview of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), which is in the process of merging with ZED. Remarkably, SPNI has effectively kept its sports division free from Indian cricket content since 2018.
The bidding process is anticipated to involve three significant contenders: Disney Star, Viacom18, and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI). These bidders are expected to once again display their commitment to the cricket broadcasting domain.
Over the next five years, the Indian cricket team is set to engage in a total of 88 matches as per the current Future Tour Programme (FTP). This schedule includes a diverse mix of formats, comprising 25 Test matches, 27 ODIs, and 36 T20Is. The Board is confident in the popularity of Indian cricket, highlighting that despite maintaining the reserve price for the auction at 25% lower than the previous cycle’s average per-match price (60 crore per match), the interest and competition among bidders for rights to the IPL and ICC tournaments remained fervent.
The financial implications of this media rights auction are substantial. The BCCI is projected to receive a significant sum of 5,280 crore over the five-year duration, even if the average price from the previous cycle is maintained. However, the board has set an internal aspiration of generating 100 crore for each match, aiming for a cumulative revenue of 8,800 crore.
The commencement of the new media rights cycle is set to coincide with the India vs Australia series in September. The BCCI has already committed to hosting a minimum of 88 home games during this period, a number that could potentially rise to 102. This ambitious cricket calendar reflects the board’s dedication to fostering cricketing excellence and entertaining the passionate cricket-loving audience in India and beyond.
More to follow…