NEW DELHI/CHENNAI : After paying a whopping Rs 16,000 crore to bag the broadcast and digital rights of the IPL in September, Star India received a blow on Thursday, as it now has to share its feed with state-operated Doordarshan (DD).As per an agreement between Star India and Prasar Bharati, DD will broadcast select matches, with a one-hour delay tacked on to the live feed. However, the biggest takeaway for DD is the fact that it will now get to take 50 per cent of the revenue earned through advertisements, as against the normal practice of the public broadcaster laying claim to one-fourth of the revenue that is generated.
Even as Star was going all out for the broadcast rights for international and domestic cricket in India, negotiations happened in the national capital. What made it more complicated for Star was the fact that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was sitting over the approval of live uplinking of IPL, a ploy which seems to have worked in favour of Prasar Bharati. “Even as the negotiations were going on, Star was facing difficulties in getting the nod for live uplinking. There was some pressure on Star to accept the deal that was proposed by I&B, which wanted a 50:50 revenue-sharing model to be put in place. In the end, a deal which was agreed upon by all parties was struck,” a source told Express.
On Thursday evening, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempatti confirmed that DD will broadcast IPL for the first time. “This brings #IPL2018 content to Doordarshan for the first time. Thanks to HMIB @smritiirani and Secy @MIB_India for the initiative and support,” he tweeted.Star will share the opening match, four league matches, play-offs and final, apart from all 8 pm matches on Sunday.
Though negotiations had been on for months with regards to the revenue-sharing model, Star finally acquiesced to the deal after a one-hour delay in the feed was agreed upon.“Initially, the delay seemed unacceptable for Prasar Bharati. But Star was not budging an inch because this is not an international tournament, so it doesn’t necessarily come under the category of events of national interest (which are supposed to be shared with DD),” a source familiar with these developments said.Even a few BCCI officials claimed that the ministry had played hardball this time, and delaying the approval of live uplinking was a pressure tactic. A Star India official even revealed that Prasar Bharati was insisting on sharing all matches, a move seen as an excessive one by the private operator.
I&B Ministry delighted
At the I&B Ministry, there was overflowing joy all around as the cash-starved broadcaster had landed an event that generates pan-India interest, a development that will definitely help in bettering its bottom-line numbers. “It is a very successful deal for Prasar Bharati, as Doordarshan will be able to telecast high-profile IPL in all nooks and corners of the country. It will also benefit viewers in rural parts of the country,” said an official in the ministry.