BCCI Delays Auction For Team India's International Games To Woo Google, Amazon

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is delaying its media rights auction for international games by at least two weeks, seeking to attract tech giants like Amazon and Google parent Alphabet. As per a Bloomberg report, this move comes due to the reduced interest from companies in the auctions.

What Happened? The two firms had fiercely competed for the IPL rights last year which was eventually won by Mukesh Ambani‘s Jio. Viacom18, owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is expected to bid aggressively for the digital media rights in this auction as well, whereas Disney might be more conservative due to global cost-cutting efforts, as per the report.

Star India, owned by Disney since 2019, purchased the previous five-year rights for $741 million (₹6,122 crore) and reported a loss of approximately $121 million (₹1,000 crore). The BCCI is still deciding whether to divide the media rights into digital and linear for the upcoming auction.

Why it matters? Ernst & Young, an advisor to the BCCI, anticipates the rights for 102 matches could fetch at least $750 million (₹6,195 crore), the same amount as five years ago. In contrast, IPL rights experienced a nearly threefold increase during the last auction.

Compared to the shorter-format IPL, other cricket series have struggled to turn a profit due to low advertising revenue. Despite this, the BCCI is optimistic about the upcoming sale.

Also worth noting, cricket’s popularity in the US is rising, with the country hosting its first-ever major T10 league from Aug. 8 to 27. High-profile cricket stars such as Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Shahid Afridi, Gautam Gambhir, and Mohamed Hafeez have confirmed their participation in the tournament.

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