BCCI says preferred IPL start time from next year is 8 pm

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has informed the prospective broadcasters that its preferred timing to start IPL matches from next year is 8 pm.

The BCCI has also said it would try not to have too many double headers but its choice for the start of an afternoon game is 4 pm. At present, the evening matches start at 7.30 pm and the afternoon games at 3.30 pm.

“BCCI’s preferred start times for double-headers being 4 pm and 8 pm Indian Standard Time,” the BCCI said in a communique to the interested parties who want to bid for the television and digital rights of the league for the 2023-27 five-year cycle.

In the first broadcast cycle of 10 years, the IPL matches started at 4 and 8 pm invariably. Only in the second cycle of five years, the starting times were advanced, on the request of Star Sports, the broadcasters, who paid a whopping INR 16,347 crore. The Star’s contention was a 7.30 pm start would have extra 30 minutes in the Prime Time, when the viewership soars and, conversely, the monetisation can be high. It also wanted the afternoon games to start 30 minutes early.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has extended the last date for the purchase of the ITT document by 10 days. “Pursuant to requests from various interested parties, BCCI has now decided to further extend the date for purchasing the ITT documents till May 20, 2022. The procedure for purchasing the ITT documents is laid down in Exhibit I. All other terms contained in the Exhibit I (including the non-refundable ITT fee amount) shall be applicable herein,” the BCCI said in a statement recently.

As reported by this website earlier, Star India, Viacom 18, Sony, Amazon, Zee, Dream 11, Supersports in South Africa and Sky in the UK have bought the ITT document. Also showing interest is Times Internet, part of which is Cricbuzz. There is no guarantee that all those who have bought the ITT will participate in the bidding – it is only an expression of interest.

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