Updated: Star India on BCCI Rights
In an earlier version of this report that was headlined that Star may exit the BCCI broadcasting rights, the group’s managing director Sanjay Gupta’s comment was misrepresented. We apologise for that error.
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Sanjay Gupta, managing director, STAR India had said as part of a larger interview on the sidelines of a news awards event, when asked about BCCI rights among other questions, that the broadcaster is still “evaluating the deal at this point in time,” as is the case of any bid processes for any organisation.
He had said that the BCCI deal worked well for Star and had boosted its brand over the years. “It has been a good bet from our side,” he said. When asked if Star would bid for the broadcasting rights after the current deal ends next year, he reiterated that the network is evaluating the deal as is due process for any commercial decision.
He explained that every organisation has to consider the value of a bid and how much money it can afford to pay. “We go through this process for all the bids,” Gupta said.
STAR India has committed Rs 20,000 crore for sports in India. Its overall sports business has done well. The group has promoted other sports apart from cricket as well.
Gupta said, “The sports space has become very active and not only Star has done well but other players too. It was a bet worth taking, and it is showing good results.”
The return on investment in the sports business is still being worked out as the broadcasting giant continues to investing money in it.
“We have seen better ROIs in last few years and we have seen significant improvement. The amount of love people have shown is incredible. Cricket has grown bigger and consumers are spending time on television and digital,” Gupta said.
The media industry has seen the adverse effect of demonetisation. All the leading companies are reviewing their revenue targets.
For STAR too, the months of December and January came with significant challenges. Many companies were hit by the non-availability of cash and logistics were impacted to a great extent.
Gupta suggests that the FMCG sector has spent very less in the last two months but spending has improved since February and March, and April is expected to be better.
Hotstar, the OTT platform of STAR India, has become its second best platform after TV.
The platform has gained momentum for its live coverage of sports and real time shows but becoming profitable is still a long term dream. Gupta feels it will take time to break even because the company is investing more on technology.