Race for IPL media rights hots up as Google, S. Africa’s SuperSport enter fray

Earlier, Zee, Disney, Sony, Amazon and Reliance have shown interest in participating in e-auction scheduled to open on June 12

Who will win this IPL trophy on May 29? Photo: BCCI/IPL

It’s not just Amazon and Reliance that are fighting it off to gain media rights for Indian Premiere League (IPL). Alphabet Inc., which owns Google and YouTube, South Africa-based SuperSport besides some other top names in the world of business too have bought the bid-related documents from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as per latest reports.

Earlier, Sony Group Corporation, Reliance Industries Ltd, Amazon.com Inc., The Walt Disney Co., Zee Entertainment and fantasy-sports platform Dream11 too have shown interest in buying the media rights for IPL for the period 2023-27.

With Star’s contract ending this year, the BCCI has already invited bids for IPL rights for the next five-year cycle, and both Reliance and Amazon are in the fray, along with Star Sports, now owned by Disney, Sony Sports Network, and others.

Unlike the previous composite bid for IPL media rights, this time, the BCCI has split it into digital, TV, rest of the world, and a new non-exclusive bundle of 18 matches. With the inclusion of two new teams from this year, IPL’s number of matches too has gone up – from 60 to 74, and it could be more in the future.

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For the first time in IPL history, the media rights will be e-auctioned from June 12.

This time, the BCCI is set to earn more than Rs 40,000 crore as the combined base price is set at nearly Rs 33,000 crore.

Also read: From retail, Amazon vs Reliance war spills into IPL media rights turf

Unlike previous auctions, the current auction will see media rights being split into four categories – TV rights for India, digital rights for India, digital rights for non-exclusive content, and rights for TV and digital in the rest of the world.

Triplecom Media iTap Founder & CEO Kunal Dasgupta expects a “big fight” for digital rights.

“The big fight will happen for digital rights and not for TV rights. I don’t think the TV rights value will be going much above the reserve price of Rs 18,000 crore. These stories of drop in viewership of IPL will not have any impact on the value that the property will garner from the upcoming auctions,” Dasgupta was quoted as saying by exchange4media website.

“The drop in viewership is worrying but it will not have a significant impact on IPL media rights auction. The dynamics of e-auction are totally different. Each player has a different level of desperation and nobody would want to be without IPL for the next five years. It’s too big a property to miss,” a senior executive from a leading TV broadcasting company, told the portal.

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