The BCCI will invite bidders to participate in an open-tender process to secure broadcasting rights for the IPL, for the cycle starting in 2018. Anurag Thakur, the BCCI president, will make the announcement in Delhi on Sunday. Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) own the current rights, which will end after the 2017 IPL season.
It is understood that the BCCI has made SPNI aware of this during negotiations held over the last two months. According to a top BCCI official, a clause in the original contract dictated that both parties would discuss the new deal in a 60-day window immediately after the 2016 IPL. The window opened on May 30, the day after the IPL final.
During this period SPNI was meant to make an offer for the BCCI to consider. The BCCI was supposed to respond within 10 days of the closing of the 60-day negotiating window.
“We had to make a final offer to them,” the BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo on Saturday. “That is in the text of the contract. We met several times and our line to them was, in today’s day and age, this is the biggest sports deal (IPL broadcasting rights), and it has to happen through an open tender. There is no other way.”
The official did not divulge the details of the tender process, including whether the rights would be sold for a 10-year cycle as it had been previously, or for a smaller length of time.