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Indian cricket rights auction to continue with $5.1 billion already in bag

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·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: The shadow of a man falls on a backdrop with the logo of the India's cricket board BCCI before the start of a news conference to announce its cricket team's coach, in Mumbai,
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By Amlan Chakraborty

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) -The media rights auction for the world's richest cricket league spilled over into a third day, with broadcast and digital rights for the Indian subcontinent already fetching the country's board almost $5.1 billion, two sources told Reuters on Monday.

The online auction, which began on Sunday is yet to conclude bidding for another set of media rights including a bespoke package that includes rights for high-value matches as well as rights to broadcast the Indian Premier League (IPL) in foreign territories.

The bidding for television broadcast and online streaming of the matches in the subcontinent concluded on Monday, one of the sources said.

A top Indian cricket board (BCCI) official said the TV rights for the Indian sub-continent had attracted the highest bid of 575 million rupees ($7.36 million) per match. The highest bid for the digital rights for the region was 500 million rupees for each game.

Based on 74 games each season for the next five years, the combined TV and digital rights for the sub-continent rights is worth 397.75 billion rupees ($5.09 billion).

The source declined to say which companies had won the two bids, but media giants like Sony Corp's India unit, Reliance Industries' broadcasting JV Viacom18 and Disney, which currently holds the rights, were all in the fray.

"The bidding went well and it's not over yet," the BCCI official told Reuters. "It's been fairly satisfying and we are confident of an impressive number tomorrow."

A second BCCI source confirmed the bidding amounts.

The online auction for television and digital broadcast rights from 2023 to 2027 to the Indian Premier League, the hugely popular two-month cricket league that draws top television ratings, began on Sunday morning and continued all day on Monday as well.

The current digital and television rights are held by Star India, now owned by Walt Disney Co, which paid 163.48 billion rupees ($2.09 billion) in 2017.

($1 = 78.0918 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi. Additional reporting by Sudipto Ganguly and Shilpa Jamkhandikar in MumbaiEditing by Tomasz Janowski and Christian Radnedge)

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