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Reliance, Amazon, Disney Star Likely In The Race For IPL Media Rights: Report

Reliance, Amazon, Disney Star Likely In The Race For IPL Media Rights: Report

Sony, Zee Entertainment and Dream11 have also purchased bid related documents for media rights of IPL.

The auction may see bids totalling between $5 Bn to $6.7 Bn.

BCCI is slated to organise the online auction beginning June 12. The media rights will enable the winner to telecast matches of IPL globally for the period between 2023 and 2027.

A host of brands are reportedly in the fray to acquire the broadcast rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

According to a Bloomberg report, big conglomerates such as Reliance, Disney Star and Amazon have hinted at bidding for the broadcast rights for the marquee cricket tournament. Quoting sources, the report also mentioned that media giants such as Sony and Zee Entertainment, along with fantasy gaming startup Dream11, have  purchased the bid-related documents from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). 

Beside, more companies are slated to join the race for the auction, which may see bids totalling up to $5 Bn or more. There are four different clusters of broadcast rights for which the companies can bid. If both Reliance and Amazon join the fight, the auction will pit the two competitors in a direct showdown for the much sought-after media rights.

BCCI is slated to organise the online auction beginning June 12. The media rights will allow the winner to telecast matches of IPL globally for the period between 2023 and 2027. It will have separate bids for online streaming and TV broadcast rights.

IPL Media Rights: The Prized Asset

IPL is one of the most-watched sporting events in the country. To put this in perspective, as many as 380 Mn people tuned in to watch last year’s edition of the IPL. With that kind of eyeballs, companies look at the event to advertise their products and offerings. The high-profile event is a mega extravaganza where brands vie to splurge big to have their promotions plastered all over the TVs during ad breaks. 

According to media reports, advertisers this year spent almost INR 17 Lakh for a 10-second spot during the matches. In the cricket-crazy nation, IPL has raked up mammoth numbers in the past too, and can only go further up from here. 

The last time around in 2017, Disney Star (then called Star India) had shelled out a massive INR 16,348 Cr for a five-year deal to broadcast IPL matches. The number was almost double of what Sony paid for the rights in the first 10 years of IPL. 

Reliance has jumped into the fray to beef up its broadcast arm. It operates a slew of channels through TV18-Viacom subsidiary Viacom18, including the recently launched sports channel – Sports18. Grabbing the media rights for IPL will be a huge boost for the sports channel. The company recently bought the broadcasting rights for the Spanish La Liga.

Reliance is reportedly also in talks with global investors to raise up to $1.6 Bn for Viacom18. 

Amazon, on the other hand, is looking at venturing into the arena specifically to cement its position in the online streaming business. The US-based ecommerce giant recently ventured into the sports broadcast domain after it started live streaming India-New Zealand women’s cricket series in February this year.

The fight for IPL broadcast rights will be another showdown between Reliance and Amazon, who are already involved in a legal tussle over the acquisition of assets of Future Group.