Dish TV has made an appeal to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to not consider Star India's bid for the IPL broadcasting rights. The DTH player believes if Star was to win the rights, the broadcasting space for cricket content in India would be anti-competitive and also lead to be anti-consumers.
A letter signed by Jawahar Goel, chairman and managing director, Dish TV India reasons that if Star gets control of the IPL to add to its current Indian home games and ICC events, the network can increase its price and charge an exorbitant fare. The nine-page letter goes on to state that with a monopoly of a sport that's considered a religion in India, DTH players will be compelled to pay exorbitant prices and ultimately consumers will have to shell more and more money from their pockets.
Excerpts from the letter:
"The pictures, as emerges from the above, clearly indicates that with the blessing of BCCI,the growth of Star has been exponential capturing all the rights for all the cricketing events to be shown in India except for lone event of IPL. The nation has witnessed the anarchical situation prevailing in BCCI leading to intervention by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and consequent appointment of Sh. Vinod Rai as the Interim President to look after the administration of BCCI until further elections are held. With the management being managed by the Committee of Administrators (COA), we can expect some positive and remarkable changes in the way of functioning of BCCI.
We look forward towards BCCI to adopt pro-competitive and pro-consumer approach as one of the major criteria while awarding the IPL rights so that the rights of entire broadcasting and distribution sector as well as that of the viewers of cricketing events are safeguarded. Accordingly, we would request you to kindly initiate inquiries and issue necessary direction in the matter."
On the face of it while Dish TV's plea appears to be pro-consumer, the following should be considered:
Dish TV is a division of Zee Entertainment Enterprises; Zee Entertainment Enterprises recently sold its sports division to Sony Pictures Networks; Sony Pictures Networks had the rights to the IPL for the first ten years of the tournament. Media observes believe that Sony Pictures Networks will not be able to match the bids of the like of Star and Amazon.