Selling IPL media rights not the same as selling coal, says BCCI on e-auction

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Selling IPL media rights not the same as selling coal, says BCCI on e-auction

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SportsCafe Desk

07/29/2017

Board of Control for Cricket in India has suggested that auctioning the IPL media rights and coal are different when questioned by the Supreme Court on why the Indian board isn't adopting the same practice. The question came after BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy filed a petition for the same.

BCCI released a notification inviting bids for the media rights of the Indian Premier League and did it via the Invitation to Tender (ITT) rather than setting up an e-auction.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Deepak Mishra has asked for Committee of Administrators(CoA) chairman Vinod Rai to explain why the Indian board has not opted for e-auction that is expected to fetch Rs 18,000 crore, and gave the BCCI two weeks to come up with an answer.

"Cricket is not coal. We'll certainly explain this point in our reply," BCCI members were quoted saying as by TOI.

The question was raised by the apex court after BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy filed a petition seeking a transparent mechanism to auction IPL's TV rights for the next five years.

 "India has seen two of the biggest scams in coal and spectrum allocation over the last decade due to non-transparency in process of allocation. The economic value with cricket rights is no less," Swamy said in his letter to the Justice RM Lodha Committee before approaching the SC, reported TOI.

The BJP government has practiced the process of e-auction in all the major auctions that have taken place in order to bring about more transparency in the processes, a fact that was highlighted by Swamy in his letter.

The experts backing the process said, "e-auctions ensure greater process control, increased transparency, shorter lead times and generate an extremely competitive price discovery environment resulting in substantial gains for the seller."

However, BCCI believes the selling of IPL media rights will cost them dearly and will lower the generation of revenue from the process.

"BCCI will take a financial hit here," say members. 

On the idea of transparency, BCCI officials replied,"If transparency is what everybody is looking for, then there's international agency Deloitte and law firm Amarchand Mangaldas looking into it. That aside, there'll be a team looking into the technical aspect of the bid. The bids will be opened in front of the media with all levels of scrutiny in place." 

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