The recent announcement from the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) that it will be auctioning the media rights via an e-Auction is a welcome step. In my conversation with Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy, I was given to understand that the last time around, this step was not undertaken. Not only that, the cabal that comprises BCCI is controlled by a few and depending on who one talks to either a senior politician based in India or Dawood Ibrahim controls the whole thing. N. Srinivasan tried to wrest it out of this cabal’s control by moving the center of gravity from Mumbai to Chennai. And the cabal struck back by foisting a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which was entirely funded by Lalit Modi.
You may be surprised to know that the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that N Srinivasan was completely innocent of all the charges foisted against him2. Regrettably in this cabal are a few members of the current ruling dispensation too. Right Wingers must discern between the silent explosives who are constantly working at cross purposes to the government and the honest, whose only intent is to do what is best for the country.
Expect new competition for media rights
The last time around when Dr. Swamy had argued in the Supreme Court for e-Auction, the court turned it down because the Committee of Administrators headed by Vinod Rai felt that e-Auction was not necessary and the SC sided with him. This despite the Central Vigilance Commission’s diktat for an e-Auction and a directive from Narendra Modi in as early as 2014.
Were bids rigged?
Swamy is positive that the bids were rigged. He went on to explain how Star TV got it the previous time – it has a financial relationship with the then Chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajeev Shukla. Swamy contends that this was a bogus deal because Star TV network has not been an advertising agent for any TV channel. Rajeev Shukla and his wife owned a TV channel, which stepped up to the plate to bid on “behalf” of Star TV and ended up getting the TV rights. Rigging doesn’t get any starker than this.
Facebook had tried and lost out
I have reliable information that Facebook had unsuccessfully bid for the broadcast rights (the rumored amount that Facebook was willing to pay for worldwide video rights was about $650 million). If this had gone through, Facebook would have been the sole provider of video for IPL matches and would have dramatically changed the viewing habits of the cricket crazy fans as they could interactively watch and comment about the action with their friends, anywhere around the globe!
I am sure Facebook (and perhaps Google and Twitter) would make a bid this time around and I am hoping that one of them will succeed. The bandicoots that try to control perception through TV channels and Print media should be shown their rightful place – the dog house.
 Committee of Administrators to e-auction BCCI media rights, officials annoyed – Feb 22, 2018, Hindustan Times
 How IPL generates Black money – An explosive interview with Dr. Swamy – Sep 13, 2017, PGurus.com
 Lalit Modi’s email – What do the sensitive tapes hold? May 15, 2016, PGurus.com
 Swamy explains how IPL generates a third of India’s Black money – Sep 13, 20017, YouTube.com – PGurus channel