New Delhi: The BCCI has opened the tender process for the next cycle of IPL television and digital rights beginning in 2018, and will accept bids until October 25. The television rights are presently held by Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) and expire after the 2017 IPL season.
The move comes at the back of Lodha Committee's recommendation, which has to be adhered to as per the Supreme Court directive, for transparency in the system.
"We are happy to announce the tender process for IPL Global Media Rights (TV and Digital)," Anurag Thakur, the BCCI president, said in a press conference in New Delhi.
Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) currently holds the rights of broadcast, which is set to expire at the end of the 10th season of the IPL, in 2017.
In 2008, World Sports Group bagged the IPL television rights for a 10-year period for USD 918 million. Sony became the official broadcaster of the cash-rich league after WSG signed a deal with Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. (MSM).
After the success of the league in 2008, the contract was reworked in 2009, with MSM signing a USD 1.63 billion deal for a period of nine more years.
As per earlier claims, SPNI had the first rights to reject BCCI's offer or match the final bid. However, to their dismay, the Indian cricket board has decided to go with an open tender. "Star has waited very patiently for this but that doesn't mean Sony Pictures can be underestimated here," an industry expert tracking developments had told media.