No takers for Indian cricket’s digital rights

Once bitten but still not shy! The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does not seem to have learnt its lessons despite drawing a blank in its first bid to sell the mobile and internet rights of Indian cricket. The board’s second attempt, too, has failed to elicit any interest from the market. At a meeting of its marketing committee here on Friday, the BCCI found out that there were no takers for its digital property. The members of the panel, including Chairman Farooq Abdullah, gathered to open the tenders. But to their surprise, there was not a single bid. The bid was to be for the live streaming of Indias home international matches.

After a 45-minute meeting, the marketing committee decided to have the live streaming of the immediate matches — the five ODIs and one Twenty20 International against England and three Tests as well as the five ODIs against the West Indies — on the BCCI website. It further decided to invite global tenders for the property sometime in December. “For the time being, the matches will be on the website ( In December, we will go for global tenders,” said a member, who was present at the meeting.

Both series will be streamed live for overseas viewers. In India, the matches will be shown deferred live with a delay of five minutes. The board, however, will not have any commercials for the streaming of these matches. “We will not monetise these matches. We will have a good experience before we launch our global bid,” the board official.

The second invitation for tenders was made after only one party responded to the BCCI’s first tender notice. Even that bid was nearly five times lower than the base price of Rs3 crore. The board then lowered the base price to Rs-2 crore and went for a re-bid. The BCCI, however, refused to term this as a setback. “We don’t want to undersell the property. We’re not going to give away the rights for a cost far below than our expectations,” the official said. The thinking in the board is that the property is such that the buyers are not too many. Four parties had purchased the tender form but none submitted it. The response from the market, however, is different. “This is not something which can go for more than Rs50 lakh. The internet rights of the IPL cost around Rs50 lakh. For a Test match, it can’t be more than that. They have overpriced it,” said an official of a firm dealing in this business.- DNA

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