BCCI: IPL media rights’ base price needs a reality check: NP Singh of Sony Pictures

NP Singh, managing director and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), has raised serious concerns over the reserve price of ₹32,890 crore set by the cricket board for media rights of Indian Premier League (IPL) for the 2023-27 period.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) needs to be realistic, given the fact that IPL has recorded a massive drop in the viewership this season, Singh said.

The proposed base price is more than double of what existing rights holder Star India paid for current five-year cycle at ₹16,347.5 crore.

“It’s a very aggressive reserve price and there has to be a reality check as TV viewership of IPL has dropped by over 34%, and at a time when the rights are coming up for renewal,” Singh told ET.

“The outlay expected, given the reserve price, is very high and we will have to factor in the expected growth of the market as well as possible economic and other risks that the market may see in the next five years,” he said. “So, we will weigh everything before we decide on what to do.”

BCCI had announced release of its invitation to tender (ITT) for IPL media rights last month.

This time, the board has divided digital rights into two separate packages. One for all matches, and second for 18 matches on a non-exclusive basis, which include the opening match, playoffs, and all the evening games on Sundays. The splitting of digital rights hasn’t gone down well with broadcasters like SPN.