Mumbai: Sony Entertainment, a division of Japan's Sony Corp., and the Singapore-based World Sports Group (WSG) have bagged the Indian Premier League's (IPL's) global media and production rights for the inaugural IPL season in 2008 and then on to 2017.
Media rights were worth $918 million, with another $100 million bid for the league's promotion.
The deal gives Sony Max the exclusive audio visual rights to all the 59 Twenty20 ties in the inaugural IPL season, which is due to start in April 2008.
The Television rights were won by Sony Max and WSG through a fair and transparent bid process, with the broadcasters bid of $ 1.026 billion being the highest.
Incidentally, bids were received from WSG and Sony Max, Network Solutions-a consortium led by NDTV and ESPN-Star Sports for what is being viewed as perhaps the greatest sporting extravaganza ever being undertaken in India.
Indian Premier League Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi said, ''We are absolutely delighted that after a fair and transparent process, we have what we believe to be the best deal for the IPL and Indian cricket fans. All the bids received were of a very high standard and we would like to thank all of the organisations for their submissions.''
"However, the IPL Governing Council was unanimous in the view that the Sony Max and WSG bid was the best, and we believe that the IPL will significantly benefit from an agreement with Sony Max and WSG,'' he added.
Meanwhile, Sony Entertainment Television India CEO Kunal Dasgupta said, ''This acquisition reaffirms our commitment to the Indian sub-continent and the global cricket fans alike. We are absolutely delighted to bring the exciting IPL line-up of Indian and international cricketers to millions of cricket fans globally.''
''At Sony Max and World Sport Group, we have done some pioneering work in showcasing cricket in an entertaining and informative way, and we will continue to innovate and extend the excitement of cricket through the IPL. We are honoured to have been selected as the IPL's Global Media Rights Partner,'' Dasgupta added.
With the Media Broadcast Rights now given to Sony Max and WSG, the IPL Governing Council is eagerly awaiting the opening of franchise bids.
Given that many global entities have evinced interest in IPL franchise ownership, the BCCI and the Governing Council of the IPL have decided to extend the dates for submission and opening of bids from Jan 18 to Jan 24, when all of the tenders for the eight franchises would be opened at 1100 hrs.
The Indian Premier League expected to start on April 18, 2008, will feature eight franchises and will run for 44 days. Each teams will play against the others on a home and away basis with seven matches at home. The top four franchises in the League will contest the semi-finals and the victorious semi-finalists will meet in the Grand Final all over one weekend.