Indian Cricket Media Rights Bids Near $ 6 Billion, Amazon Takes Out | Business and economy news

Bidding began on Sunday for broadcast and digital rights and extended until Monday when the price skyrocketed

The media rights bidding war for India’s Premier League (IPL) is underway, with Disney, Sony and India’s Reliance vying for what could bring India’s cricket billboard up to $ 6 billion.

The match began at 05:30 GMT on Sunday for broadcast rights, digital rights, a bespoke package that includes high-value match rights, as well as the rights to broadcast the world’s richest T20 championship in territories foreigners.

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

“The participants are very enthusiastic. The offers are still open and we hope for a good number tomorrow, “she said, adding:” This is the first time we have opted for an electronic offer to ensure a fair and transparent process. “

The IPL, which counts top Indian industrialists and Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan among its franchise owners, is often seen as a surefire ticket to high TV ratings and growth in the booming online streaming space of the United States. ‘India.

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

“There is also a global shift towards healthier valuations, where investor expectations have shifted from ‘growth at any cost’ to ‘growth with profitability’,” said Mihir Shah, vice president of consultants Media Partners Asia.

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The Gujarat Titans, owned by European acquisition firm CVC, won the 15th edition of the championship, beating the Rajasthan Royals in the final on May 29 in front of over 100,000 fans in Ahmedabad.

The glitzy T20 league attracts the world’s best cricketers for two months of hectic games played in packed stadiums with cheerleaders and live music. Indian viewers, after two years of pandemic hindrances, are steadily shifting towards consuming online and away-from-TV entertainment, the staple source for middle-class Indian families until a few years ago. The acquisition of IPL rights is a surefire way for any media company to attract millions of eyes to the cricket-cricket-crazed nation of nearly 1.4 billion.

Amazon withdraws Inc withdrew 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, more spending simply on the league’s online streaming rights made no commercial sense, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter who asked. not to be identified.

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

Reliance Industries Ltd is making an offer through its broadcasting joint venture, Viacom 18. The Indian unit of Sony Corp and local broadcaster Zee Entertainment are in merger talks but are bidding separately.

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Last time, Star India won an established tender which awarded it broadcast rights on both television and digital platforms.

“At a renewal value of between $ 5 and $ 6 billion or more, the rights would require the winner to reach a significant scale in the competitive $ 20 billion streaming and TV industry,” said Shah.

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