A consortium led by Times Internet Limited* (Indiatimes), the Internet and Mobile company from the Times of India Group, has won the global rights to the Indian Premier League for Internet, Mobile, Radio and Television (for certain territories). The consortium will pay a total rights fee of Rs. 261.6 crore rupees for the four year period 2011-14. The IPL is the premier T-20 Cricket tournament from the Board for Control of Cricket in India. A quick take on the deal (we’ll have more later):

– Who has TV rights? The entire consortium has not been named by the BCCI. Why is that? If it is indeed a consortium, as the BCCI says, then there should have been a broadcasting partner named. As per the structuring of the sale, the consortium would have bid for all rights.

– Global TV Rights, Not India: This doesn’t include Television rights for the IPL for the Indian sub-continent and certain other territories, which are held by SET Max.
– Minimum Reserve Price: We have it from multiple reliable industry sources that the minimum reserve price was for the each of the digital segments (Internet and mobile) was Rs. 20 crore.
– Cricket Site From Indiatimes? Given the investment in the rights, could we see the launch of a Cricket specific property from Indiatimes? ESPNCricinfo is the thought-leader in the space, but Yahoo has tried to leverage its ICC tournament rights (which, incidentally, will be up for grabs soon), and there are others like Cricbuzz.com and Network18 owned CricketNext. Indiatimes doesn’t have a Cricket specific property, but with group media resources at their disposal, there’s an opportunity. Remember that Global Cricket Ventures owns the domain name Cricket.com, while ESPNCricinfo owns Cricket.org. We’ve requested Indiatimes for info on the deal and their plans, so will update with more.
– Global Cricket Ventures: Given that Indiatimes has won these rights, this could well signal the end for Global Cricket Ventures. Why would anyone buy Elephant Capital’s stake in the company now?

IPL Media rights have been at the center of much debate and litigation, particularly between the World Sports Group and the Board for Control of Cricket in India, and Justice Mukul Mudgal, retired Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana, was present as observer at the bid opening process, as per the orders of the Supreme Court. The IPL 2011 season starts on 8 April.

Update: We’ve received complaints from Web18 that some of their employees are being falsely represented in the comments to this post. Comments have thus been moderated.

Disclosure: Indiatimes is an advertiser with MediaNama