'Disney Star has ended up with a sweetheart of a deal': Experts divided over IPL media rights sale

Media and entertainment pioneer and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, who founded the erstwhile UTV group, expressed concern over the high prices of IPL rights.

Published: 14th June 2022 11:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2022 11:18 PM   |  A+A-

IPL Trophy

IPL Trophy (Photo | BCCI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The humongous sum of Rs 48,390 crore fetched from media rights of IPL cricket has divided industry experts, with some feeling that the market can easily absorb it while others said anything 'puffy and inflated' puts pressure on the sport.

For advertisers, two separate entities bagging the TV and digital rights augur well as it would give them more options.

According to Rediffusion Managing Director Sandeep Goyal, the market will easily absorb the increase in prices of the IPL television rights, while on the digital front a complete metamorphosis could be expected in the OTT space like what Jio did to mobile telephony.

"Disney Star has ended up with a sweetheart of a deal on (TV) broadcast rights," he told PTI.

Stressing that concurrently, the number of matches has also been increased in the next five years, he said, "Effectively the price is up about 33 per cent in five years, which is an arithmetic increase the market will easily absorb".

However, on the digital front, Goyal said, "I think Reliance is going to do to OTT, what they did to mobile - a complete metamorphosis. So, Jio could well decide to give cricket free to all subscribers and go up 500 per cent on the current base. Voot (Viacom 18's video-on-demand platform) is going to see a dramatic jump. Exciting stuff ahead".

Expressing similar views, MediaCom CEO South Asia Navin Khemka said the bid was aggressive and has now made IPL among the top 3 globally and real value will be unlocked in the next five years.

"This was expected considering how high the base prices were set, and there were three-four serious bidders. It is also a step-change for the way digital is being valued," he added.

Also with the rights fragmented with no single entity getting both TV and Digital rights, Khemka said, "It will be very interesting to see how they bring in innovation in the way IPL will be monetised. For advertisers, they would have more options to choose from".

However, media and entertainment pioneer and entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, who founded the erstwhile UTV group, expressed concern over the high prices of IPL rights.

"Should we send a Message of Congratulations or Message of Condolence to the Winning Cos for IPL bid - what say? Great for @BCCI great for all team owners and I wish I could say Great for Cricket -but we know anything so puffy & inflated puts a lot of stress on the Sport itself," he said in a tweet.

After the conclusion of the IPL media e-auction, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), which took part in the bidding, said it evaluates all business decisions through the prism of value creation for all its stakeholders.

"At ZEE, we evaluate all business decisions through the prism of value creation for all our stakeholders and we will continue to evaluate every sports property with the same prism," ZEEL President, Business, Rahul Johri said in a statement.

The BCCI on Tuesday announced fetching of a whopping Rs 48,390 crore (USD 6.20 billion) through IPL media rights for five years, starting 2023 and reaffirmed its status as a cricketing behemoth by securing one of the biggest broadcast deals in the history of the sport.

While Disney Star retained their Indian sub-continent TV rights by paying Rs 23,575 crore (Rs 57.5 crore/game), the most sought-after India digital rights deal was acquired for Rs 20,500 crore by the Reliance-backed Viacom18, which also won the non-exclusive Package C by paying Rs 2,991 crore more.



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