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SC seeks BCCI’s response over e-auction of media rights of IPL matches

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-07-2017 Priyanka Mittal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over a plea seeking e-auction of media rights for Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.

The auction process for IPL media rights is scheduled to begin on 28 August and the rights would operate for a period of five years.

A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra sought a response from BCCI within two weeks and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s reply a week thereafter.

Swamy had moved the apex court on 11 July, seeking e-auction of media rights for IPL matches.

“Media rights should be done through an e-auction. The current process is a sham and we want to ensure that e-auction is opted,” said Swamy.

An e-auction was sought so that the process could be made more transparent.

Currently, IPL’s TV broadcast rights are held by Sony Pictures Networks Pvt. Ltd, which will expire in 2017 with IPL’s 10th edition. The Internet and mobile rights, however, were awarded to Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, a unit of Star India, for a period of three years to 2017.

The ninth and 10th editions of the IPL in 2016 and 2017, respectively, are the last two seasons before the current broadcasting rights expire.

Singapore-based World Sport Group bagged the IPL broadcasting rights for 10 years in 2008 by spending $918 million. A year later, the contract was replaced when Sony Group (through Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd) paid $1.63 billion for the nine-year broadcasting rights.

The auction process was delayed last year on the apex court’s directive to comply with the Lodha panel reforms first.

The case will be heard next on 24 August.

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