IMG set to extend IPL partnership – report

The IMG agency has agreed a deal to extend its event management rights contract with Twenty20 cricket competition the Indian Premier League (IPL), according to the Ahmedabad Mirror.

The Indian newspaper said bids for the contract were opened by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) yesterday (Thursday) with IMG seeing off competition from Rhiti Sports, Wizcraft and Group of 4.

IMG has been associated with the IPL since its inaugural season in 2008 and is believed to have agreed a new five-year contract.

A BCCI source told the Mirror that the decision to award the rights to IMG has been taken in principle but the contract has not yet been finalised. IMG is currently paid close to Rs 27 crores (€3.68m/$4.19m) per year for its current deal.

The BCCI has been in the process of marketing key commercial deals for the IPL. Chinese mobile handset manufacturer Vivo last month agreed to pay a huge increase to retain its title sponsorship rights for the competition.

Vivo, which has served as the title sponsor for the past two editions of the tournament, will pay a total of Rs21.99bn (€303m/$341m) over five years, from 2018 to 2022. The figure, which equates to just under Rs4.4bn per season, marks a 554-per-cent increase on Vivo’s previous deal for the IPL and a 267-per-cent premium on the base price set by the BCCI.

India’s Supreme Court this week said it was considering a submission from Bharatiya Janata Party member Subramanian Swamy for an early hearing of his plea concerning the tender process for the next set of broadcast rights to the league.

The rights are set to go to market on July 17 and Swamy has called for an e-auctioning process in order to gain maximum value from the tender and ensure its transparency. The rights tender is set to cover five editions of the IPL, from 2018 to 2022.

Sony Pictures Network India currently holds television rights to the IPL, while pay-television broadcaster Star India has digital and overseas rights to the IPL, aside from in the UK and the US.

Both deals expired at the end of the 2017 season, which concluded on May 21.