Apple planning to conquer IPL now?

Within just a week of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issuing an Invitation-To-Tender (ITT) to sell the rights to the media of the Indian Premier League for the next season of 2023–27, most of the major corporations have signed their bids to the ITT.

Brands such as Sony, Disney, TV18-Viacom, Zee, and Amazon have expressed interest in acquiring media rights for the lucrative event.

But, this time there's a new player. And it's none other than Apple.

The News: Indian Premiere League on Apple?

Apple, the tech giant, is looking to purchase IPL rights for the media for the period 2023–27. A report by The Times of India has claimed that Apple is expected to pick the ITT (short for invitation-to-tender) in the coming week. The IPL (Indian Premier League) is among the biggest cricket events in the world. The BCCI issued invitations to purchase IPL media rights for the years 2023–27. The contract is for five straight years.

The report further states that major players like TV18-Viacom, Disney, Sony, Zee, and Amazon have also expressed interest in bidding on the IPL media rights. Since IPL season 16 is hoping to surpass 500 million viewers, it is evident that major companies will view this as a huge opportunity to promote themselves.

The BCCI expects to increase the revenue by US $7.2 billion at the time of the auction for these media rights, which will be scheduled for two weeks in June. The deadline for purchasing the ITT expires on May 10th, following which the following 30 days will be used as a way to get clarification regarding the document for tender.

"Transparency is key, and any profits derived from rights or sales will be redirected to India's domestic structure, improved infrastructure, and the welfare of the cricketing community," BCCI secretary Jay Shah has said.

IPL media rights for 2023-2027

Four different packages are available

These rights are sold out in four distinct buckets. Additionally, the Board, in its first attempt, announced it would not permit consortiums or combined bids (a total of all components) to be included. Instead, if a bidder meets the eligibility requirements, they must separately bid for each package.

The packages are classified into the following categories:

A) Indian subcontinent television rights
B) Digital rights
C) A group of 18 games (season opener, four playoff games, and weekend evening double-header matches)
D) The rest of the world (ROW)

The base price for the rights package in all its entirety has been set at 32,890 crores. The final figure was determined after BCCI kept the base price for television rights at 49 crores, digital rights at 33 crores, the 18-match cluster at 16 crores, and other world rights at 3 crores.

At 74 games per season, which is the equivalent of 370 matches over five years, the base price multiplied by the number of games in the right cycle adds up to 32,890 crores. The BCCI has set the number of matches per season at 74 for the time being, but if the number of matches increases in future seasons, broadcasters will be required to pay pro-rata.

The technicality of the Packages is also made available by BCCI

The auction of packages A & B will happen at the same time on Day 1 of the auction, while the auction to sell packages C & D will happen on the next day.

However, winners of Package "A" can renew the bid for Package "B" and winners of Package "B" have the option to bid on Package "C," which will allow those who win Packages A or B or both to pay a delta and get an 18-match group.

This means that the person who wins Package "A" can contest the highest bidder from Package "B" in a knock-out auction. In the same way, the winner of Package B can contest the highest bidder in Package "C" along with the most bidders in the respective territory groups in Package "D."

"The packages are split in a way that ensures the highest participation. This keeps the competition active and transparent and enables the BCCI to increase its revenues to the max, "BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal declared.

Package A is available for purchase by an Indian broadcaster that has an asset worth more than INR 1,000 crore by March 31st, 2021. Bidders who bid for packages B, C, and D require an annual net worth of INR 500 crore. An Indian broadcaster, as well as an Indian internet service provider and an Indian network operator, are eligible to bid on Package B.

All of these, together with an international broadcaster and an internet service provider from around the world, and a global mobile operator, are eligible to bid on Packages C and D.