IPL will be telecasted on Doordarshan Channel by 1 hour delay
Prasar Bharati – Star India agree on revenue sharing on IPL, DD likely to earn 50 % of total revenue
NEW DELHI: Negotiations between Prasar Bharati and Star India which has won the bid to broadcast the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year, are believed to have reached a conclusion, after both parties agreed to terms, after months of negotiations, which at one point had come close to being derailed.
According to sources aware of the developments, the revenue from advertising between Prasar Bharati and Star India, which was a major bone of contention between the two parties, will now be shared equally, resulting in a big win for the public broadcaster. Star India had demanded a 75-25 revenue split in its favour.
“As per the Prasar Bharati Act, the public broadcaster would have received only about a fourth of the total revenue. However, there was a feeling that Prasar Bharati was being short changed, given its huge infrastructure costs. It has to recover its variable expenses, and thereby, the need for a greater share of revenue generated,” a source told ET.
When contacted by ET on Wednesday, Star India Chief Executive Uday Shankar declined to comment. Separately, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempatti, also declined to speak.
In September last year, Star India had won the television and digital, Indian and global media rights to IPL for the next five seasons, paying Rs 16,347.50 crore. Until 2017, Sony Pictures Networks had held the television broadcasting rights of IPL for 10 years (since 2008).
“Prasar Bharati’s strategy, which has been supported by the Smriti Irani-led Information and Broadcasting ministry, was driven by a need to move from regulatory-led negotiation, to a more business-driven one, designed to ensure that the government gets a better deal,” a source said.
Star India had also demanded for DD free dish users not be included as part of the target audience and wanted to restrict the telecast to just certain events – including the IPL 2018 inaugural ceremony, the playoffs along with a few others, which the autonomous body, has not agreed with till now.
Additionally, as part of its negotiations with Prasar Bharati, Star India had also demanded a one-hour delay in telecast of the IPL matches on all Doordarshan (DD) channels.
The delay in the telecast of IPL matches was initially unacceptable to the public broadcaster, but given its huge win in receiving a greater share of the total revenue expected to be generated, it has acceded to Star India’s demand.
“Today, live telecast is all that matters, especially when you are getting everything on mobile as and when it happens. But given the revenues that we expect to earn, this is manageable,” an official said.
Separately, as part of the agreement between the two parties, Star India has also agreed to Doordarshan to show the inauguration ceremony, the playoffs, a match on every Sunday during the duration of the tournament, and the closing ceremony.
However, it is yet unclear if the private broadcaster’s demand for excluding DD’s free dish users from the target audience. DD’s direct-to-home platform has an estimated 2 crore subscribers.
Star had earlier contended that cable TV operators were getting live feeds through DD channels free of cost, resulting in loss of revenue for them. A senior official in the government said for cash- and content-starved DD, this would be a great deal. Recently, the government had refused to waive off its spectrum charges of over 1200 crores, which is also seen as one of the reasons why it is insisting of getting a better deal from Star this time. EOM