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EY's involvement highlights benefits of BCCI strengthening its professional roster

Last updated on 09 Aug 2023 | 03:10 AM
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EY's involvement highlights benefits of BCCI strengthening its professional roster

The BCCI is not a small start-up that is vying for the next round of funding, they are genuinely one of the biggest business the country has ever seen - streamlining the process could sort out a lot of debacles

Last week marked a massive development in Indian cricket as the BCCI unveiled the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document for the upcoming bilateral broadcast rights cycle. This move followed extensive consultations with Ernst and Young (EY), the appointed consulting agency for this endeavor. With the emergence of Viacom18 as a prominent player and Walt Disney's reduced clout in the market, the BCCI could no longer rely on a straightforward bidding process. 

They had to devise a strategy to ensure conglomerates would be ready to bankroll the less-lucrative bilateral rights with billions of dollars yearly. EY offered them the expertise to create a bidding infrastructure that would increase the value in a progressive fashion. 

For those unfamiliar with the context, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulatory body overseeing the country's financial markets, imposed restrictions on Subash Chandra and Puneet Goenka of Essel Group (Zee Enterprises), citing allegations of fund diversion. Amidst ongoing proceedings in the Supreme Court, the proposed merger with Sony Pictures Network India came under scrutiny. A ruling against Sony could have dealt a severe blow to the BCCI.

In the next few paragraphs, we will explain why.

With Viacom18 largely dominating the Indian market due to Disney Star's waning influence and Sony's cautious bidding strategy, the former enjoyed considerable pricing and negotiation power. Anticipating their competitors' restrained approach, Viacom18 was unlikely to face substantial competition in a closed bid system.

However, EY introduced a game-changing clause in the ITT, enabling Sony Pictures Network India and Essel Group (Zee Network) to form a united front. This marked a departure from the BCCI's conventional practice of excluding consortiums from joint participation in auctions.

By adopting an e-auction process, facilitated by Mjunction Services, the BCCI effectively addressed this concern. This level playing field encourages broadcasters to adopt a more assertive strategy. Not to forget, IMG (International Management Group) had played a huge role in IPL becoming the property it has become.

Then what does that indicate about the larger ideology of BCCI? It is evident that the BCCI, from its own experiences, is recognizing the significance of enlisting professionals to handle intricate tasks. While this practice was evident during Rahul Johri's tenure as BCCI CEO and Ratnakar Shetty's role as Director of the 2011 World Cup Event Management Committee, recent years have witnessed a clear deviation from this approach and the very reason why the 2023 World Cup has found itself in a mess.

Despite the ICC World Cup 2023 being less than a couple of months away, there is no certainty about the schedule, neither has anyone any update about the tickets. Imagine the predicament of a traveling fan, but that has now been told multiple times to be repeated once again. It’s a plain mess, but then we have a president who has spoken literally zero times since being appointed to the role. The Secretary runs the show, but that’s as messy as it could ever get.

Presently, the BCCI is led by Hemang Amin, who has served as the IPL's COO since 2010 and effectively acted as the BCCI's de facto CEO for the past four years. Amin, a former analyst with Deutsche Bank and a deputy manager at Bombay Stock Exchange Limited, possesses extensive experience and has collaborated with various administrators. But the fact that he has no support team to work around with makes things clumsy from every angle - his work has become to execute the whims and fancies of the BCCI top-brass. 

Truth be told, the position that India have found itself in as far as hosting the upcoming quadrennial event is concerned is nothing but embarrassing. It does more harm to the reputation of the country as a whole. Just because people in India would pay whatever you demand because there’s a huge craze for it makes you blind to reality, the baseline can’t sustain for long.

The BCCI is rich because it has the goodwill of the fans - respecting it should be the order of the day. The first step to arrest the chaos should be to hire professionals and delegate the job. 


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