The Indian cricket board is expecting to breach the USD 1 billion (INR 8200 crore approx) mark in its cumulative earnings from selling the separate TV and digital rights for India's 88 home games during the five-year period till March 2028.
The highlight of this new cycle will be 21 home games against Australia (five Tests, 6 ODIs and 10 T20Is) along with 18 games against England (10 Tests, 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is) out of the 25 Tests, 27 ODIs and 36 T20Is.
₹6,100 crore earned in last cycle
During the last five-year phase (2018-23), the BCCI had earned USD 944 million (INR 6138 crore approx in 2018 exchange rate) from Star India with a price per international game being Rs 60 crore (digital plus TV).
Unlike last time, the BCCI will invite separate bids for TV and digital rights after a whopping INR 48,390 crore earning during the IPL media rights auction where Reliance won the digital bid and Star won the TV rights.
E-auction to sell Media rights
The bidding process will once again be conducted through e-auction just like it happened with the IPL media rights as it is considered the most transparent process for best price discovery.
Those who are tracking the developments feel that even digital rights for Indian cricket will skyrocket and the response for TV will be way more tepid in comparison.
"It is difficult to put a number right now as the value of dollar to rupee has also changed from the exchange rate of last time. But don't be surprised if digital rights earns way more than TV," a broadcaster involved in this business said.
Frontrunners in the race
While there are number of companies who has bought the bid document worth Rs 15 lakh, the three serious bidders for India's (men and women's) home matches are going to be Disney-Star and Reliance-Viacom while Zee could be a big contender if the merger with Sony is completed before the auction scheduled during the first week of September.
"It is too early to comment but there will be only three serious bidders if Zee-Sony conglomerate joins the bidding war. There are many things one needs to factor in. Two entities -- Reliance and Star -- had gone all out for IPL rights. Star also owns the ICC tournament property. So how much each will stretch is a question," a senior executive from one of the broadcasters told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"As far as Amazon is concerned, they didn't even bid for IPL, which is BCCI's biggest property right now."
Challenges awaiting broadcasters
But, considering there is a World Cup happening in three months and in case India doesn't win the championship, the subsequent few months could be bad in terms of advertisement revenue.
"There are 25 home Tests in this cycle. But if you check out last cycle, how many Tests practically went into the fifth day? Most Tests in India end inside three days. The broadcaster will factor that in," another broadcaster said.
"Obviously a series against Sri Lanka or Afghanistan won't fetch you the amount that England or Australia will get you. The ad rates per second for a T20 match will be more than most Test matches. So when your company puts in a bid, these things are kept into account.
"Also you need to ensure your current stars play 'x' number of games in that cycle in this day and age of workload. The NBA has a clause," he added.