It is a clean sweep for Star. After three days of intense bidding, BCCI awarded media rights for all bilateral cricket in the country to Star India for Rs 6138.10 crore, for a period of five years. The media rights include both — television and digital media — for all international matches played by the Indian cricket team at home from April 2018 to March 2023. Star India, which retained the rights, will be paying around Rs 60.17 crore per match to the BCCI. This way Star now controls IPL rights, ICC broadcast rights and domestic Indian cricket rights, making it an unprecedented trinity of rights and a virtual oligopoly. The e-auction process started on Tuesday after the BCCI found three bidders — Star India, Sony Pictures Network (SPN) and Reliance Jio Infocomm — eligible for the process, after scrutinising their technical bids. Star India will now have the rights to broadcast a total of 102 matches, as part of the ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) in the next five years.

The broadcasting giant has now spent a total of Rs 22,485.6 crore on the two BCCI properties in less than nine months. Star had in September 2017 grabbed the ‘global media rights’ of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a period of five years (2018-2023) for a whopping sum of Rs 16,347.50 crore.

Besides the fresh BCCI media rights awarded on Thursday, the IPL and ICC events, Star currently holds media rights for Asian Cricket Council’s events, cricket in New Zealand and Bangladesh, along with regional Twenty20 tournaments such as Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) and Karnataka Premier League (KPL). Against this, Star’s rival Sony Pictures Network has rights to seven cricket boards — Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England, Australia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan — along with media rights to popular T20 tournaments like Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) and the Caribbean Premier league (CPL).

The e-auction was held for the following packages: Global Television Rights and Rest of the World, Digital Rights Package, Indian Subcontinent Digital Rights Package and Global Consolidated Rights Package. Bidders were allowed to bid for any of the packages and could enter/exit the auction process at any point in time. BCCI had fixed the first year’s reserve price for television rights at Rs 35 crore and for the next four years at Rs 33 crore. Reserve price for digital rights for the first year was fixed at Rs 8 crore and at `7 crore for the subsequent four years, according to reports. – Financial Chronicle