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IPL media rights: Why package C is so important for Disney-Star, Viacom18

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The auction of the media rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023-27 cycle is currently underway. And attention now is on the digital rights of a special group of matches called package C.


This group includes the opening game, final match, three play-offs and weekend double headers, a total of 18-20 of the best matches of each season for the next five years.


Disney-Star and Viacom18, the respective winners of the TV and digital rights on Monday, have also set their sights on acquiring these rights, informed sources said.


On Monday, bidding for package C, which began in the evening, crossed Rs 18 crore per match, ensuring a minimum of Rs 1,700 crore would come into the kitty of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which is organising the e-auction. The base price for this group is Rs 16 crore per match.


Experts say that the bidding for package C will touch Rs 1,900 crore on Tuesday, though some analysts say it could cross that number. The reason for this is the need for Disney-Star to acquire some digital rights – it currently has only television rights for the 2023-27 cycle. At the same time, Viacom18 is keen to ensure that it has control over all digital rights during the tournament.


On Monday, Viacom18 picked up the digital rights for the Indian sub-continent, package B, for Rs 20,500 crore, a premium of nearly 70 per cent over the base price. Viacom18’s winning bid translates into a per-match value of Rs 50 crore.


On the other hand, Disney-Star put in a total bid of Rs 23,575 crore for the television rights, which is a premium of 30 per cent over the base price, which translates into a per-match value of Rs 57.5 crore.


Package D for overseas digital and TV rights has Zee vying for it, according to people in the know.

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