Mukesh Ambani’s Viacom18 wins IPL digital streaming rights in bidding war
After two days auction for the tournament’s TV and digital rights, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s media venture has finally won the bidding war to own the media rights of the Indian Premier League, outbidding giants from Walt Disney Co. to Sony Group Corp.
Viacom18 Media Pvt, a joint venture between Paramount Global and Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., clinched the online rights to the popular annual cricket tournament for as much as 210 billion rupees ($2.7 billion).
The BCCI that kicked off the auction on June 12, has yet to officially announce the winners.
Ambani’s Viacom18 bought the rights for about $2.6 billion. Disney, however, did bag the TV broadcasting rights of the IPL matches for about $3 billion, the Financial Times reported. The BCCI is auctioning IPL’s broadcast and streaming rights separately for the first time.
Amazon had earlier pulled out of the IPL media rights auction race, the report said.
Four contracts for the media rights, broadly the TV and the digital, were up for bidding in the auction.
On March 29, the BCCI had announced the release of invitation to tender for the media rights for the next 5 years. The overall base price of the media rights was estimated at Rs 32,890 crore.
With the addition of two new team Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, the IPL has now expanded from 8 to 10 teams. After this addition, a total of 74 have been played in the recently concluded 15th season of Indian Premier League. In its debut season, Gujarat Titans had became the winner of the IPL 2022 last month.
Started in 2008, India’s cricket festival IPL was valued at 458 billion rupees ($5.9 billion) in 2020 and could now increased to more than 25%. Stadiums hosting an IPL match feature merchandise and a carnival atmosphere, often with Bollywood actors cheering from VIP boxes.