The tussle between Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani to win one of the world’s most expensive sports properties will no longer be a sight to behold as ‘OTT giant’ Amazon on Friday staked its claim for the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights starting on Sunday. decided to withdraw from the bid. Reliance Industries Limited’s Viacom18 is considered to be one of the strong contenders for both TV and digital rights.
Bezos expected Amazon to be at the forefront of making the biggest bid for digital rights, but withdrew from the race without giving reasons. A senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told PTI on condition of anonymity, “Yes, Amazon is out of the race. He also did not participate in the technical bidding process today. As far as Google (YouTube) is concerned, they had taken the bidding documents but have not submitted them. So far 10 companies (TV and streaming) are in the race.
This time there are four special packages for media rights in which 74 matches of each season will be e-auctioned for two days for a time period of five years from 2023 to 2027, in which the number of matches will be increased to 94 in the last two years. There is also a provision for Package A contains the Indian subcontinent exclusive TV (broadcast) rights while Package B includes the digital rights for the Indian subcontinent.
Package C is for digital rights for 18 selected matches in each season while Package D (all matches) will be for combined rights for TV and digital for overseas market. “Let us make it clear that Viacom18 JV (Giant Venture), existing rights holders Walt Disney (Star), Zee and Sony are the four contenders for the package, which have a strong hold on the TV and digital market,” the official said.
Some other contenders are Times Internet, FunAsia, Dream11, Fancode, mainly for digital rights, while Sky Sports (UK) and SuperSport (South Africa) will be pursuing overseas TV and digital rights. Last time Star India had acquired both TV and digital rights in a combined bid of Rs 16,347.50 crore but this time the overall base price will be over Rs 32,000 crore. All the bidding companies will have to bid separately for each package this time.