Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), owner of the Indian Super League (ISL), has set a whopping Rs.550 crore as base price for two-year media rights of the ISL.
ISL media rights till last season
This is the first time that FSDL has initiated a tender to sell the media rights for ISL. Disney Star had the league’s media rights since the start of the franchise league. It concluded as the official TV and media rights partner of the ISL with the end of 2022-23 season.
It is said that Disney Star was losing more than 50% of its annual revenue, i.e., more than 100 crore of the media rights fee of 200 crore.
FSDL tender for the upcoming season of ISL
Disney’s five and four-year agreement ended last season, prompting FSDL to float the tender. The tender specifies that the TV rights will be awarded for the Indian subcontinent, while the media rights will only be for the Indian market. The two-year deal will start from 1 September 2023 to 15 June 2025 including the option to extend their rights for additional three years, i.e., starting on 16 Jine 2025 to 15 June 2028.
The deadline for bid submission is August 7 and will be shortlisted on August 11. Octagon, a US-based media rights agency will manage the closed bid process. The agency has reached out to all the potential players in the market. They include Disney Star, Viacom 18, Eurosport, FanCode and Sony Network.
The ISL draws nearly 2 million people to stadiums and 120 million domestic viewers each year, according to FSDL. ISL 2023-24 season will include 139 matches after the promotion of Punjab FC. Thereafter, it is likely to go up to 163 in 2024-25 and 189 matches in the subsequent season.
In 2010, IMG Reliance, agreed to a Rs 700 crore contract with the AIFF to purchase commercial rights to Indian Football through December 2025. To ensure FSDL retains the commercial rights after 2025, back-end conditions including a last-right to match are also in place.
Expectation from the Upcoming season
The upcoming season is expected to start around the third week of September. It is believed to be the most fierce with ISL winning coaches like Lobera, Owen Coyle and Carles Cuadrat making a return to India. While Des Buckingham, Manolo and Juan Ferrando are also ISL winners.
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