Expect fierce competition for IPL media rights


On September 28, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that the tender for the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights for 2023-2027 will be released around October 25 when the induction of two new teams will be finalized. . Yet the buzz around broadcast rights and digital media for property started before that, sparked by the proposed Zee-Sony merger and how this could bolster Sony’s chance to aggressively bid for IPL rights.

Merger talks surfaced when major shareholders of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), Invesco and OFI Global China Fund LLC, requested an EGM to remove Punit Goenka and two other directors from the company’s board for corporate governance issues. ZEEL quickly entered into a non-binding terms sheet for a merger with Sony, with Goenka continuing as CEO and CEO. While the merger may take a while, if it succeeds in convincing shareholders and regulators, media experts have pointed to the serious competitor this merged entity could be for IPL’s media rights.

Still, the assumption may be simplistic as Sony-Zee will have to compete with other heavyweights that have emerged over the past five years when Star India bid on and won global media rights for IPL in 2017 for a princely sum of ??16,347.50 crore.

As the countdown to deals begins, a handful of media companies are preparing war treasures requiring nearly ??30,000 crores.

For starters, the incumbent Star rights holder himself, now backed by the might of The Walt Disney Company, cannot be fired. While Disney is more process-oriented and many believe it might rethink its investments in sports, others argue that Hotstar’s reach was built on the back of IPL. And Disney itself has publicly declared its intention to expand the streaming business. A sports affairs specialist said the company is likely to bid for the TV and streaming rights to the T20 League.

The other serious challenger this year will be Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which owns a majority stake in television broadcaster Viacom18. He recently hired Disney-Star’s Anil Jayaraj to run his sports business with plans to launch a sports channel.

Reliance Jio also bid for IPL’s digital media rights in 2017, as did social media giant Facebook Inc. However, what has changed between now and today is that the Facebook bought a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms Ltd, a wholly owned company last year. RIL unit. Even Alphabet Inc.’s Google took a 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms. Both agreements are likely to push Jio’s digital applications and build on the company’s digital ecosystem. Meanwhile, Viacom18 already broadcasts LaLiga, the Spanish Football League, on MTV in India and streams it live on the Voot and Jio platforms.

Amazon Prime Video, the American streaming platform, is not to be taken lightly either. Not after what its national director here, Gaurav Gandhi, told the Financial Time on the company weighing other opportunities to secure cricket rights. This was last December after acquiring the rights to Indian Territory to broadcast New Zealand cricket matches through 2025-2026, including Team India’s tour of New Zealand in early 2022.

IPL’s rights will be hotly contested as the ownership is risk-free and even covid-free given that the tournament has not been canceled.

For broadcasters, cricket is a generator of value because it rubs off seriously on other content. Not only are the channels building distribution on its back, but it gives them more leverage with advertisers.

“IPL has almost become a default viewing option in single TV homes, whether you’re actually watching the game or not. That’s why the number of male and female viewers is just as high, ”said Sandeep Goyal, Managing Director of Rediffusion.

The IPL started with an ad rate per 10 seconds of ??1.2-1.3 lakh compared to ??15 lakh today. Some stocks may sell at ??18-20 lakh, Goyal said. “Digital ads are coming ??300-400 crore per year, overseas broadcasts are recovered ??100-200 crore and full stadiums can mean income of ??400 crores. Add stadium advertising and other sponsorship and you have a file ready for any broadcaster to bid for the IPL, ”he said. IPL becomes the growth engine of any network. “So bidding for this tournament is almost a necessity for everything in the ecosystem,” Goyal added.

Shuchi Bansal is Mint-flavoured editor-in-chief of media, marketing and advertising. Ordinary Post will look into the press issues related to the three. Or just fun stuff.

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