Google, Facebook and Reliance Jio are among the companies that show interest to bid for the broadcasting rights to cricket across the country for the next five years through 2023. The broadcasting rights will be sold by BCCI through an online auction on Tuesday, 3rd April. The companies will contest for the rights alongwith two established broadcasters, Sony Pictures Network India, Star India and the streaming service YuppTV.
Google has entered the running for sports rights in India for the first time. However, Facebook had contested for the broadcasting rights in the Indian Premier League, the two month Twenty20 cricket league in September 2017 but lost to Star India. Reliance Jio had the digital rights for 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics that were showcased on its JioTV platform.
The rights on sale include home internationals for men and women as well as domestic Indian cricket from 15th April 2018 to 31st March 2023. There are three categories in all- one is the global television right and rest of the world digital right, second is the digital rights for the Indian subcontinent and the third are global consolidated rights. Star India runs Star Sports and Hotstar and is an incumbent going into the bid on Tuesday. It will be facing stiff competition this year on the digital rights front as compared to the last year when no one bothered with digital rights.
BCCI claims this will be first time in sport that media rights will be sold through an online auction which inturn, will bring more transparency to the bidding process as compared to the existing closed bid auction. The BCCI will evaluate the technical and financial feasibility of the six parties before the bidding process begins at 2 pm IST.