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Media Rights Bids for Indian Cricket Hit $6 Billion, Amazon Pulls Out | Business and economic news




Bidding started on Sunday for broadcast and digital rights, and continued through Monday when the price went up

The bidding war for media rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) is on, with Disney, Sony and Indias Reliance competing for what could bring the Indian cricket board up to $6 billion.

Bidding began on Sunday at 05:30 GMT for the broadcast rights, digital rights, a custom package of high-quality match rights and rights to broadcast the world’s richest T20 competition in foreign territories.

We are very pleased that things are going as planned, treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told Reuters.

The participants are very enthusiastic. The bidding is still ongoing and we hope for a good number tomorrow, he said, adding: This is the first time we went for an e-bidding to ensure a fair and transparent process.

The IPL, with top Indian industrialists and Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan among its franchisees, is often seen as a surefire ticket to high TV ratings and growth in India’s thriving online streaming space.

But while the digital and television rights for 2023 to 2027 are expected to be more than double the 163.48 billion rupees ($2.09 billion) paid by Star India, now owned by Walt Disney Co., in 2017, observers say that caution may be warranted.

There is also a global shift towards better valuations, with investor expectations shifting from growth at any cost to growth with profitability, said Mihir Shah, vice president of consultants Media Partners Asia.

Gujarat Titans, owned by European buyout company CVC, won the 15th edition of the competition, beating Rajasthan Royals in the May 29 final in front of more than 100,000 fans in Ahmedabad.

The glitzy T20 league attracts the world’s best cricketers for two months of fast-paced matches played in packed stadiums with cheerleading squads and live music. Indian viewers, coming out of two years of pandemic-led curbs, are steadily turning towards consuming entertainment online and away from TV, the main source for Indian middle-class families until a few years ago. Acquiring IPL rights is a surefire way for any media company to attract millions of eyeballs in the cricket-crazed country of nearly 1.4 billion people.

Amazon withdraws Inc withdrew from the bidding process on Friday, saying it didn’t think it was a viable growth option for the company in India. Although Amazon has already invested more than $6 billion in the country, spending more just for the online streaming rights for the competition didn’t make a business sense, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter and asking not to be identified. become.

Amazon, which identified IPL among half a dozen global sports franchises it is interested in, was initially determined to take a win, Bloomberg News reported. The retail giant has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on European football rights and has struck a deal to broadcast Thursday Night Football in the US for $1 billion per season until 2033.

Reliance Industries Ltd is bidding through its broadcasting joint venture, Viacom 18. Sony Corps India unit and local broadcaster Zee Entertainment are in merger talks but are bidding separately.

Last time, Star India won a consolidated bid that gave it broadcasting rights on both television and digital platforms.

At a renewal value of $5 to $6 billion or more, the winner’s rights would require it to achieve significant scale in the competing $20 billion streaming and TV industry, Shah said.




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