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SC refuses to direct BCCI to e-auction IPL broadcast rights

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to direct BCCI to conduct e-auctioning of the rights of internet, television and mobile broadcast of the T-20 Indian Premier League (IPL) for five years from 2018.

As many as 24 companies, including Star India and Sony Pictures Network, have so far purchased bid documents to get broadcast rights which are expected to fetch an unprecedented amount of over Rs 20,000 crore for the richest cricket board.
The broadcast rights are divided into three categories — TV, mobile and internet. The deadline for submission of sealed bids is September 4.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and D Y Chadrachud considered the reply filed by the Committee of Administrators (COA) favouring the ongoing auctioning process to award the media rights, rejecting the plea of BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy that e-auction be held instead.
Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for the COA headed by former CAG Vinod Rai, said the ongoing tender process was a better option as all the bidders put their best bids in a sealed envelope to get the media rights.
Swamy said he would file an interim application highlighting the alleged collusion and conflict of interest on behalf of the IPL chairperson who also runs a channel. This plea was allowed by the top court.
The IPL matches are scheduled to start in April next year and the broadcast rights would be awarded for a period of five years from 2018 to 2022.
The IPL governing council at its meeting on July 11 had evaluated the ITT (invitation to tender) for the IPL media rights and reconfirmed that the existing BCCI tender process was the best approach, both in terms of absolute transparency and free and fair price discovery, BCCI had said.

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