Schedule Tweak Catches Teams By Surprise; IPL Media Rights Set For High Bids

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Schedule tweak catches teams by surprise; IPL media rights set for high bids. The IPL is set to attract high bids for media rights

Schedule Tweak Catches Teams By Surprise; IPL Media Rights Set For High BidsThe IPL is set to attract high bids for media rights

The media release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), announcing that the last two league games of IPL 2021 will be played concurrently, on Tuesday (September 28) night took most concerned parties by surprise. Not all franchises were amused that the last set of league games – between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians and Royal Challegers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals – on October 8 will be played simultaneously.

The immediate reaction among teams was of skepticism — if any potential favour being is extended to any particular team. Later, however, the sides have realized that the concurrent concept is not such a bad thing.

“Excellent idea, we are so happy for this. It would deny any possible advantage to the team playing second,” said Parth Jindal, the owner of Delhi Capitals, a side, incidentally would have had the advantage, if any, as they would be playing last. The concurrent games deny the teams playing last the knowledge of the closest rivals' NRR that would, otherwise, give them an alternative target if a win is not possible, or on the margin of win in terms of runs, overs or wickets.

The move by the Governing Council of the IPL, it has been speculated, was on the request of broadcaster Star but an office-bearer has told Cricbuzz that idea of testing hitherto unchartered waters is an experiment for future seasons when the league would be larger and the window would be smaller. The same explanation was given to the franchises as well.

The perception is that the broadcaster has every reason to be unhappy but Star officials declined to comment. Curiously enough, the BCCI had not formally communicated to the teams about this decision, at least till the time of going online. “We have made a press release,” said a BCCI official, when asked about not formally communicating to the teams.


The other big point in Tuesday night's release was on the media rights for the IPL. “The IPL Media Rights tender for the cycle 2023-2027 will be released immediately after the appointment of two new IPL teams, which is scheduled to be announced on 25th October 2021,” the BCCI said, leaving the broadcast executives in India scurrying into action.

On the face of it, the move seems aimed to stump the International Cricket Council (ICC) which apparently is planning to invite bids for the 2024-31 cycle in November-December. The BCCI would want all broadcasters to come to the bidding table with their pockets full. Following the ICC process would mean that one broadcaster would have already shelled out a fortune.

But the issue is larger than the thought of the BCCI trying to beat the ICC. First, an ICC broadcaster would have to commit for eight years, which is quite a large period during which time there could be many technological innovations. Second, the ICC is yet to decide on the venues for the next cycle and finally, anyone getting the rights would have to wait for more than two years as the new deal would kick in only in 2024.

On the other hand, the new IPL broadcasters would have their hands full from May 2022 itself, in just about six months from the date of the bidding, expected to be completed by November.

Now the big question is who – who would get the IPL rights, arguably the most lucrative of the sports properties in India. After the imminent Sony-Zee merger, there would be three major bidders in the market — Star, Sony/Zee and Reliance-backed Viacom 18 (the new player in the broadcast field) – as far television rights are concerned and understandably one of them would bag it. There would be quite a few digital players – Amazon, Facebook, NetFlix, Hotstar, Jio…

But the biggest of all the questions is what would be the worth of the IPL rights. From $ 1.6 billion for the first 10 years (with Sony), the cost shot up to $ 2.5 billion (over Rs 16500 crores) in the next five years. Pundits estimate the new deal could be over 3 billion or around Rs 25000-30000 crores.

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