ICC MEDIA RIGHTS
The point everyone seems happy with is the ICC’s assurance that there is no withholding liability for broadcasters ©Getty
The International Cricket Council (ICC) issued a series of clarifications on its media rights bid on Friday, but the immediate reaction from Indian broadcast and digital players is more ambiguous than clear, except on the matter of restraint at the time. source. The ICC, however, seems confident that the right process has been set.
A voluminous document, spanning almost 200 pages, answering more than 650 questions, fails to “satisfy” with its answers on the much sought after precision on the multiplier for the four and eight year offerings and, more importantly still, how will the ICC decide on identifying the offers for the second round.
Equally baffling, as one Indian industry executive put it, is the ICC’s insistence on submitting financial offers on August 22, only to be opened four days later. This is an ITT (Invitation To Tender) clause which implies the prior submission of the envelope mentioning the amount of the offer as well as other reference documents of the company for evaluation.
Indian leaders argue that if bids are to be opened on August 26, why submit them earlier. Furthermore, if the envelopes will be opened in the presence of all the competing parties, their value will not be communicated to each other.
The ICC did not react but it is made clear that the multiplier to decide the value of the offers at four and eight years will remain secret, mainly to protect the principle of the “closed” tender. “That’s what sealed deals are for,” a source with the knowledge said. “That’s the key to the whole bidding. Why should it be revealed? It’s up to the parties to work out the value and place bids.”
As for the four-day interval (August 22 to 26), it is said that it takes time because the ICC wants to ensure that the safeguards are in place, that the due diligence is done, that the requirements are met and everything is administratively in place.
The ICC corrected the course by explaining why a 20% premium if an event is moved to the Indian time zone and why no concession if it is moved from it. Broadcasters have been informed that they will receive a 20% discount if an event is moved to a non-Indian time zone more than four hours behind. This was first reported by Cricbuzz on July 20.
The point that everyone seems happy with is the ICC’s assurance that there is no withholding liability for broadcasters, which many parties have been asking for. It was clarified that Indian companies can follow the country’s law on broadcast fees when an event is held in India.
Broadcasters say they still don’t know how the ICC will decide which first-round winners will advance to the second-round auction, if there is one. The second round, which will be an electronic auction if necessary, will take place on August 29. But Indian companies insist they expect another round of clarifications.
The ICC tender is for media rights for the next eight-year cycle (2024-31) and is for Indian Territory only. All major broadcast players including Star, Sony, Viacom, Zee, Amazon and FanCode are in the running. The ICC has split the rights to the men’s and women’s matches and is looking for separate deals.