After the sale of IPL media rights touched gigantic numbers in the e-auction held by BCCI earlier this year, now it’s the turn of the sale of ICC media rights, but ICC’s process hasn’t been going as smoothly as the process of IPL e-auction went.
To start with, the broadcasters are not very happy about the fact that, unlike IPL e-auction, ICC has not opted for an open bidding system and they rather want closed bids from the broadcasters. Secondly, it’s not even certain at this stage if ICC wants to sell the media rights for 4 years or 8 years.
The global governing body of cricket has asked the broadcasters to submit two bids each, one for 4 years and another for 8 years if they want and after the submission of all the bids, ICC will open them privately, analyze them and then decide for themselves which is the ideal bid for them and for how long a period.
This creates a situation where there is a massive lack of transparency for the broadcasters, particularly those who are chiefly active in India, the biggest market of cricket by a long margin.
The broadcasters are unable to figure out at this stage how ICC will compare 4-year bids to 8-year bids in an ever-evolving cricketing market and how can every broadcaster be satisfied with the procedure when the bids won’t be opened in front of everyone and ICC will do it privately.
ICC Media Rights mock auction will be boycotted by Star, Sony, Viacom and Zee as they want changes in the Tender. (Reported by Cricbuzz)Advertisement
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) August 15, 2022
Amazon is also one of the contenders for ICC media rights
Another major controversy that has erupted is the fact that Amazon is also in contention to buy the digital rights of ICC and the other broadcasters, Star, Sony, and Viacom, have now found out that one of the members of the Amazon board, named Indra Nooyi who is an Indian-American, is actually one of the independent directors at ICC as well and this creates a massive conflict of interest situation.
Even though it has been made clear by ICC that Indra Nooyi will stay from the whole process of ICC media rights sale, the broadcasters are still not satisfied and it’s very much possible that Star, Sony, and Viacom might just decide to not submit any bids for the ICC media rights at all, which will be a big blow for ICC.