New Delhi/Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set for another massive windfall as Star, Sony and Jio engaged in a bidding war for the global consolidated media rights (GCR) for the 2018-2023 cycle of India’s home bilateral series, which is currently valued at Rs4,442 crore, after the end of the opening day of the first ever e-auction.

The current valuation is already 15% more than Star TV’s erstwhile record bid of Rs3,851 crore ($750 million then) in 2012. The GCR comprises worldwide TV broadcast rights as well as digital rights for 102 matches (across three formats) that India will play at home in the next five years.

The first top GCR bid was Rs4,176 crore followed by 25 crore incremental bids. Some of the top bids were Rs4,201.20 crore, Rs4,244 crore, Rs4,303 crore and Rs4,328.25 crore. The e-auction will start at 11am on Wednesday and as per norms, no one save the bidders know who has the top bid with him.

All the three bidders are bidding through an unique log-in id that is provided to them. Only three companies—Star, Sony and Jio—submitted the technical bids and it is a foregone conclusion that the likes of Facebook, Google and YuppTV may have entered into a consortium with the primary bidders.

“Since Star has digital platform HotStar, they are unlikely to partner Facebook or Google. But you never know if Sony has entered into a consortium with either of the two. Google has Youtube. But again it is being evident that cricket sells in India and despite not so favourable publicity at times, Indian cricket still rakes in the moolah," a senior BCCI official told PTI on Tuesday.

“However it is now proved that any bidder will now go for GCR as they don’t want those bundles. Star showed that during IPL with a 16,347 crore bid. Now here also the GCRs have surpassed individual bundles," he added.

The BCCI is selling media rights for three specific categories—global TV rights plus rest of world (ROW) digitals rights package, Indian sub-continent digital rights package and global consolidated rights package.

For 2018-19 season, the per match value for the global TV and ROW digital rights was Rs35 crore and Rs8 crore for Indian sub-continent while Rs43 crore was the starting bid for the global consolidated rights.