Amazon, Disney, Reliance and Sony are in a fierce battle for IPL

Amazon, Disney, Reliance and Sony are in a fierce battle for IPL

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12 May 2022
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Nick
IPL

Much stronger than football! Media giants are waging an all-out battle for cricket in India. Amazon, Walt Disney and billionaire Mukesh Ambani, behind the conglomerate Reliance Industries, are in the running to afford the broadcasting rights of the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL).

According to the Bloomberg agency, Sony Group and Zee Entertainment – which announced a merger with Sony a few months ago – as well as the Dream11 platform (specialized in “fantasy sports”, allowing the creation of virtual teams based on performances of real players) would also be interested.

Prizes could reach $5 billion and even more for the IPL, which is considered cricket’s Super Bowl , according to Reuters and Bloomberg. By comparison, Amazon had paid $1 billion for the National Football League (NFL) , the prestigious American football league.

Cricket is hugely popular in India, a country of 1.4 billion people, as Indians watch more and more video content on their smartphones. The last edition of the IPL had gathered some 380 million viewers. According to Bloomberg, it is the third most watched sport by number of viewers in the world.

Until then it was Star India, one of the main audiovisual groups in the country – which became part of Disney – which owned the audiovisual and digital rights to this sport until 2022, after having bet 2.5 billion dollars, notes the Wall Street Journal.

But for the first time this year, the body in charge of cricket rights, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has separated rights between television and streaming – allowing players like Amazon Prime Video to position themselves.

The battle between Reliance and Amazon is all the more interesting as the two giants clash on the legal ground for the assets of Future Group (in the retail trade).

For Reliance, which owns the telecom operator Jio, the acquisition of these rights would be a key decision in its digital strategy and its development in sport. Viacom18, a joint venture between ViacomCBS and Reliance, for example, recently got its hands on Spanish La Liga matches.

And on the side of Amazon, it would be the continuation of its acquisition strategy in sports. The American giant, which broke through in this area in France through Roland-Garros and Ligue 1 (football), is present in several sports around the world (tennis, football, etc.) and in particular cricket. He had thus acquired the rights to broadcast in India the international matches played in New Zealand – which has a very competitive team – until 2025-2026.

 

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