Will IPL media rights bid have a new date?


21 Jun 2013
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Will the bidding for the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights, scheduled for 25 October, have a new date?

There is confusion, drama and suspense as the top contenders for the new cycle of the IPL broadcast rights await for the bids to close. Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), the existing TV rights holder, and Star India are going to place huge bets behind the IPL. New players like Amazon, Reliance Jio, Facebook and Twitter have shown interest in the digital rights.

According to sources, two top contenders want clarity over the legality of the whole tender process before participating in the bidding.

The tenders for the IPL, including TV, Internet and mobile, are slated to be submitted by 25 October.

The BCCI may decide on a new date for the bids as the cricket board has not yet heard from the Justice RM Lodha committee.

With the Supreme Court directing the BCCI to have an independent auditor appointed by the Lodha panel, the cricket board has sought clarifications.

The Lodha panel is yet to name an independent auditor. The BCCI wants to know from the Lodha panel whether it can go ahead with the tender process or defer it.

BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has written a letter to the Lodha committee seeking directions basically on three issues ahead of the finalisation of the broadcast rights for the IPL. The invitation to tenders (ITTs) are slated to open on Tuesday.

The first issue relates to the appointment of an independent auditor to oversee the tender and other processes.

Secondly, the BCCI wants to know if there is any specific directions/instructions on whether it should defer or cancel the opening of global tender on 25 October.

Lastly, the BCCI wants a directive on whether they could issue clarifications to the potential bidders if they have any questions in their mind. Eighteen companies have bought the IPL tender documents. Deloitte has been appointed by the BCCI to supervise the submission and the opening and assessment of the bids.

The BCCI will first have to send a final draft of the Media Rights Agreement (MRA) to the 18 companies who have bought the ITT for the IPL media rights.

Will the Lodha panel reply to BCCI’s letter? Should the BCCI go ahead with the bidding process or defer it? There are no answers yet. Looks like the suspense will continue till 25 October.

As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, the Supreme Court directed the BCCI to seek the Lodha panel’s approval for contracts relating to media rights, ground rights above the fixed limit. The limit for contracts above which the BCCI will have to seek approval will be determined by the panel.

Irked by the BCCI’s defiant act, the Supreme Court asked the Lodha panel to appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise the grant of high-value contracts, including the IPL, by the cricket board.

“The auditor shall also oversee the tendering process that will be undertaken by the BCCI as well as the award of contracts above a threshold value to be fixed by the committee; the award of contracts by the BCCI above the threshold fixed shall be subject to the prior approval of the committee,” the bench, led by Chief Justice TS Thakur, had said.

The Lodha panel can obtain the advice of the auditors on the fairness of the tendering process adopted by the BCCI. The committee will determine whether a proposed contract above the threshold value should or should not be approved, the bench stated.

Will IPL media rights bid have a new date? | TelevisionPost.com
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