Amazon has pulled out of the race to own the media rights to the IPL for the next five years. ESPNcricinfo has learned the global e-commerce giant is not part of the final list of seven bidders participating in the e-auction on Sunday to decide who will get to broadcast one of the most lucrative tournaments in the cricket calendar.
Amazon has been a lead player in acquiring lucrative streaming rights across global sports and was expected to bid aggressively for the IPL’s digital rights packages. In 2021, the company struck a billion-dollar-a-year deal (for 10 years) to broadcast just 15 Thursday night matches in the National Football League in the USA. Their withdrawal will be a blow to the IPL.
It is learned that the decision not to pursue the media rights was made by Amazon’s top brass in the US and that it was communicated to the IPL on Friday – the deadline for bidders to submit their paperwork.
This time, though, the IPL has segregated the TV and digital rights into their own packages. Package A consists of TV rights for the Indian subcontinent. Package B caters to digital rights for the Indian subcontinent. Package C contains digital rights for a special bouquet of matches, including the playoffs, for the Indian subcontinent. And Package D, TV and digital rights for the Rest of the World, which is divided into two sub-categories: combined ROW or five individual regions.
The auction will start at 11am IST on Sunday with the simultaneous sale of Packages A and B. Only once winners are decided for them will Packages C and D come up for bidding. A bidder can compete for more than one category. Also, given there is a half hour interval between every bid, there is a strong chance the auction may spill over into a second day.
Bidders will need to list their price on a per match basis. For Package A, the base price per match is INR 49 crore (USD 6.3 million approx.). For Package B, it is INR 33 crore (USD 4.2 million approx.). For Package C, it is INR 16 crore (USD 2.05 million approx.). For Package D, it is INR 3 crore (USD 390,000 approx.).
There is one significant change that the IPL has made concerning the incentives given to winners of individual categories to match the winning bids for different packages. Originally the IPL had stated in the bid document that the winner of Package A can enter into a bidding contest with the highest bidder for Package B by offering 5% more than the highest bid for Package B. The winner of Package A and the highest bidder for Package B will then lock themselves into a contest with minimum incremental bids of 5% over the previous bid. But, that rule has been simplified to the winner of Package A and the highest bidder of Package B engaging in a direct contest, with the highest bid taking the package. The same process would be repeated to determine the winners of Packages C and D.
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