For the upcoming five years, Viacom18 has been awarded the BCCI’s TV and digital media rights for bilateral India matches played at home. Network 18—owned by Reliance Industries and Paramount Global are partners in Viacom18. The rights, which include TV and digital rights for 88 matches, were purchased for INR 5966.4 crore. Now, the Indian Cricket Team’s home matches will be broadcast live on TV by the Sports 18 network. Jio Cinema will also broadcast live domestic fixtures of the Indian squad on desktop and mobile devices. The online auction took place on Thursday, August 31. With this, Viacom18 will serve as the nation’s official broadcaster for home games from 2023 through 2028.
Congratulations @viacom18 🤝 for winning the @BCCI Media Rights for both linear and digital for the next 5 years. India Cricket will continue to grow in both spaces as after @IPL, and @wplt20, we extend the partnership @BCCI Media Rights as well. Together we will continue to…
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) August 31, 2023
Battle for the media rights
Disney Star and Sony Sports, the only other bidders in the auction, lost to Viacom18 for the rights. Moreover, by acquiring the TV and digital rights to the home series of the national team for the following five years, it has formed a monopoly in the Indian cricket broadcasting industry. Two packages were sold along with the rights.
- Package A comes with TV for the Indian subcontinent. Base Price INR 20 crore.
- Package B offers digital for the Indian subcontinent with digital and international TV. Base price: 25 crore INR
For a total of 88 matches, the aggregate base price is INR 45 crore per game. The final cost per match is anticipated to be between 30% and 40% more than the base cost. There will be 25 Tests, 27 ODIs, and 36 T20 international games played domestically. These matches do not include the games played by the Indian Women’s Team. Viacom18 has the right to broadcast women’s team games for free.
The series between Australia and India in September will mark the start of the next round of BCCI media rights. Australia will play three one-day internationals against India in this series on Indian soil. Sports18 will broadcast these three games on TV. Jio Cinema, however, will broadcast these games on computers and mobile devices.
Previous broadcasting rights scenario
Disney Star last purchased media rights in 2018. It spent INR 6,138 crore (~ INR 60 crore each game) on this. The forthcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be made available to all mobile phone users browsing the service for free to view, according to a previous announcement. The free option is intended for 540 million smartphone users. ICC World Cup TV rights are presently held by Sony Sports Network.
Dominance of Viacom18 and Reliance
Through its TV station Sports18, Viacom18 is a relative newbie in the cricket coverage scene. The Women’s Premier League (WPL) TV and digital rights are also owned by its digital platform Jio Cinema for a total of INR 951 crore till 2027. Additionally, it has purchased for INR 23.758 crore the digital rights to the IPL cycle 2023–27. Additionally, it covers broadcast rights for Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The rights to broadcast Cricket South Africa matches in India from 2024 to 2031 are held by Viacom18. Viacom18 will pay INR 67.8 crore for 88 matches this time.
Here’s what they said
Roger Binny, BCCI President said,
The recent BCCI e-auction has unequivocally demonstrated the vigour of cricket in India. The remarkable journey of Indian cricket, its meteoric rise in the global sporting arena, owes its success to the unwavering trust that people have vested in the BCCI leadership and its dedicated workforce. With the staunch support and collaboration of every stakeholder within our cricketing ecosystem, I am confident that we will continue to propel the brand BCCI to uncharted territories on the global sports stage.
NP Singh, MD & CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, extended his congratulations to BCCI and Viacom18 stating,
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the BCCI for a transparent and efficient e-bidding process and to the winners for securing the bilateral media rights. Our disciplined bid was grounded in market forecasts and a long-term growth strategy. We remain committed to delivering top-tier sporting entertainment as we continue to see growing enthusiasm across various sports genres.