ICC MEDIA RIGHTS
Representative Image: ICC © Getty
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will conduct mock e-auctions for those participating in its media rights tender. Cricbuzz can confirm that emails have gone out to all participating parties that mock auction rounds will be held separately over the next few days, until early next week.
The exercise, not usual for a large bid, is to equip the participants with the knowledge about the methodology of the online procedures. However, it must be emphasized that the e-auction only comes into the equation when the bidding goes to the second round. The first round is a sealed bidding phase where all parties must submit sealed envelopes containing their bid amounts.
For the record, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which successfully conducted the IPL e-auction in June, had also undertaken the mock exercise. Kolkata-based MJunction had overseen this and the ICC is also believed to be involved with them.
As it is a commercially sensitive matter, the ICC would not comment on this, but a source with the knowledge said that it is primarily a training session on the auction site for the bidders so that they are fully comfortable are with the platform, should the bidding go to the second round. The ICC has originally told the parties that the mock sessions will be held on Friday (August 12) itself, but in view of the extended weekend, the exercise can be undertaken on August 16 and 17.
The ICC has invited the Indian broadcasters to bid for the media rights for the next four-year cycle from 2024 in the Indian territory with the option to contest for eight years as well. This has led to an element of consternation among Indian players, especially about the multiplier formula that will decide the value of the bids and how an eight-year bid would be proportionally higher than the value placed for four years. The parties have demanded clarity on this, but the ICC seems reluctant to open the cards and sees this as a strategic decision.
Another question is for the disclosure of all bid amounts when they are opened on August 26 in Dubai. The ICC has said that the bids will be opened in everyone’s presence, but the value of each bid will not be disclosed to other competing parties.
The Indian television market, mainly consisting of Star, Sony and new entrant Viacom, all with digital arms, have written to the ICC since it released the first set of clarifications last Friday (August 6).
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