Broadcasters are criticizing the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s international governing body, after PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC) said they will no longer act as auditors for the bidding process. With requests to abandon the presently closed bidding and choose the e-auction instead to sell the rights, the most recent development has placed ICC in a precarious position.
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For the ICC, the most recent development has been dubbed a “global humiliation.”
The Times of India cited a member of a cricket body as asking, “How precisely has this method been adopted?” Who is in charge of writing this tender document, as it is causing the ICC great humiliation around the world? Such embarrassment won’t bode well for an organization that includes lawyers, prominent business executives, and cricket players as member representatives.” Another source used the sale of media rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) as an example of how e-auctioning ensured transparency throughout the entire process.
“For this reason, the BCCI made sure that the IPL rights would be auctioned in a way that would prevent any concerns from being raised over the procedure. Ask a broadcaster, and they will explain how the IPL was sold for the best possible price. However, even if it wasn’t sold for the highest possible price, you can’t possibly dispute the procedures that were followed “It was reported that the source said.
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According to the existing procedure, broadcasters seeking to purchase media rights must first submit a closed offer; if this is not accepted, an e-auction will be performed.
“Why wouldn’t you put your best figure in the envelope when it’s a closed bid? And if you’ve already given it your all, what do you have left over to bid in the e-auction? Does either make sense or do both make sense?” reported a source.
In separate letters to the ICC, all four broadcasters—Viacom18, Disney Star, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI)—have said that they will boycott the bidding if it is not transparent.
They have also criticized the ICC for being evasive in its explanation of PwC’s exit mid-procedure.
On August 22, the ICC was required to receive all technical bids, and on August 26, the governing body will receive all financial bids. The bids were supposed to be submitted at the PWC UK office, but now the process will happen in Dubai at the ICC headquarters, according to insiders.