IPL broadcast rights to be delayed until BCCI complies with Lodha Committee's directives
Indian Premier League's broadcasting rights will in all likelihood looks to be suspended for the interim as the Justice RM Lodha committee declined to give a thumbs up unless the reforms process was complied as ordered by the Supreme Court.
President Anurag Thakur was asked by the Lodha Committee to submit a letter stating that the board will comply with the Supreme court's order. The Committee, on Monday, said the letter would be necessary before it issues directives to the BCCI to take the tender process forward.
The final submission for the media rights is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25 in Mumbai. The Supreme Court ordered last week that all major contracts that BCCI enters into will need the approval of the Lodha panel.
The Supreme Court passed an order last week limiting the financial freedom of BCCI until the board along with its state associations comply with the Lodha Committee's recommendations.
One of the directives stated that the Lodha Committee would set the upper limit for the different contracts BCCI enters into and contracts exceeding the threshold limit would need the committee's approval. It also asked the committee to appoint an independent auditor to oversee contracts from the tender stage.
BCCI has also been ordered by the Supreme Court not to distribute funds to its respective state associations until an affidavit is submitted where it states their compliance with the directives of the court and the Lodha committee.
In addition to that BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke were asked to submit and affidavit of compliance by December 3 elaborating on the recommendations. Soon after the order on October 21, the BCCI contacted the Lodha Committee seeking clarification regarding the bidding for the IPL's rights.
"The Committee is in receipt of your email and letter dated 21.10.2016 which refers to the Order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of the same date," the Lodha Committee's email to BCCI on Monday said. "Before the Committee proceeds to issue any directions, it would need to satisfy itself that the BCCI administration is willing to comply with the Order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 21.10.2016. As you can understand, this would be necessary in view of the BCCI's stand concerning the earlier order of 18.7.2016. In this regard, the Committee."
The current broadcasting rights are held by Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) which will expire after IPL 2017. In September the BCCI had already announced that the media rights for the next cycle will be sold via an open tender process.
The Singapore-based media house World Sports Group bagged the IPL television rights in 2008 for a ten-year period with a $918 million bid. It simultaneously signed a deal with Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. (MSM) of which Sony would be the official broadcaster. The contract was recast before IPL 2009, with MSM paying 16.3 billion for nine years till 2017.