The richest cricket body in the world will probably just get richer, and will call the shots in cricket broadcasting in the process. The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) announced on Monday that it will call for bids for cricket telecast rights over the next four years, up to March 31 2010 (staring from 1st April this year).
The minimum bid price for the four years of cricket telecast has been pegged at $350 mn. This is well in excess of the $308 mn that ZEE TV had bid for previously. Moreover, the minimum reserve price has often proved to be barely 50% of the actual bids the last time around, according to former BCCI president and marketing committee member I S Bindra. All this points to yet another windfall for the BCCI and Indian cricket.
The BCCI also said it would retain complete control over the production feed, including the choice of anchors, commentators and allowing feeds to TV and news channels. The four years will have a total of 12 tests and 30 one day internationals, adding up to 90 days of cricket. In addition, the BCCI will also control the rights to seven offshore matches against Pakistan.
Speaking at the Cricket Club of India, the BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said, The BCCI will be hiring a production house, while it will still be, in effect, the host for broadcasting matches. TV channels will bear the BCCI logo alongside their own.
The BCCI is also looking beyond television and will call for tenders in other media such as radio, broadband, mobile telephony and will look to offer multi-lingual feeds.
Also, it has said that any telecast right holder would also provide 72 days of live domestic cricket in addition to the international cricket played in the country. The bidding process is expected to begin in the first week of February and will be completed by the 10th February.
Mr Modi added that interested parties could bid for the whole gamut of offerings or piecemeal, as it suited them. However, the BCCI would evaluate the bids and if the revenue netted from piecemeal bids exceeded the revenue from the entire production bid then it would split up the various components of the cricket telecast.
All matches played in India have to share their feed with the national broadcaster Doordarshan (DD). The BCCI will invite separate tenders for marketing matches to be broadcast on DD. The proceeds from these will be split 75:25 in favour of the BCCI.