Sony, Disney, Amazon Battle For $7.4B Indian Cricket Rights
Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has put together a consortium to outbid major global players Amazon, Disney and Sony for the lucrative telecast rights to the Indian Premier League – rights that could sell for over A$7.37 billion.
Ambani’s Reliance Industries will team with Viacom, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, and Comcast in a bid to out-muscle competitors for the rights.
In the nation of almost 1.4 billion people, cricket is the most popular sport, and therefore telecast rights to the exceedingly popular IPL would be a boon to streaming services hoping to bolster subscription numbers.
Last year’s IPL final drew 380 million viewers. Disney currently holds the rights, which expire at the end of this year. The parties would be bidding for a five-year rights licence, starting 2023.
Disney will no doubt be the fiercest bidder, given it launched its Disney+ OTT service in March 2020 off the back of the IPL season beginning, noting it was an “opportune moment” to enter the market.
If it loses the rights, it is likely to shed tens of millions of subscribers.