IPL Award USD58m Global Media Package to Times Internet Ltd.

March 21, 2011

It was announced yesterday, March 20, that a major package of global media rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) comprising the internet, mobile and radio as well as television rights for certain territories has been acquired by Times Internet Limited.

According to the IPL governing council for the Twenty20 cricket competition, the company have splashed out US$58m to secure the rights through to the end of 2014.

Under the orders of the Supreme Court, the bids were opened in the presence of Justice Mukul Mudgal due to an ongoing dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and World Sport Group (WSG), its estranged sports marketing partner.

An escrow account has been established to ensure that any rights fees paid by Times Internet Limited to the BCCI will be kept in the account until the dispute with WSG is resolved as the organisation filed a formal complaint after the BCCI, citing financial irregularities, ripped up a commercial agreement contract struck between the agency and now-suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

WSG had initially hoped that the Supreme Court would prevent the tender from being issued however, it still welcomed the order to freeze any payments to the BCCI, with chairman and CEO Seamus O’Brien stating: “In effect, the order protects our long-term rights and that of our partners, and also our revenues pending the final legal outcome of the case, and that is what we had sought to preserve.”

The statement to ESPNcricinfo continued to reiterate that the agency will take “whatever further actions are necessary around the world and particularly in key markets to protect its rights and interests, and that of its licensees who have invested in the success of the IPL, as a result of the illegal termination of its agreements by the BCCI, and their subsequent actions”.