IPL rights sold for $3.2 billion

The IPL which is broadcast around the world is hugely popular for its mix of sport and showbiz with a number of teams fronted by big Bollywood names

Five-six years ago when we got into sports broadcasting our view was that India was a market, where as far as the popularity of sport is concerned, including cricket, only the surface of the earth has been scratched. "We have significant presence in each of these three universes".

According to industry watchers, a truncated right (2018-2022) from a previously ten-year period also signifies that even the world's richest cricketing board BCCI is watching the digital canvas carefully even though monetisation of digital platform still remains a long-rope game.

"The cricket move is actually a smart one from a global perspective, as one of the traditionally underrepresented sports in TV distribution", he added.

The social networking behemoth reportedly bid $600 million for a five-year deal to stream Indian cricket matches, in its largest effort yet to establish itself as a go-to place for sports fans.

If Star had not submitted the Global Bid of Rs 16,347.50 and applied just for the Individual Bids for Indian Subcontinent TV Rights with Rs 6,196.94 crore, it would have been beaten by Sony, who bid Rs 11,050 crore exclusively for the TV broadcast rights.

Star India chairman and CEO Uday Shankar was delighted with the result. Till now the Technical evaluation competed, Star India and Sony Pictures are eligible for the bidding process. And that is why we felt that we were going to make an attempt to get TV and digital both. The India digital rights had already been procured by Star for the 2015 to 2017 period, with the company paying Rs 302.2 crore. Also bidding for the rights were Sony, which had TV rights for all the earlier seasons of IPL, streaming service Yupp, and content conglomerate Times Internet Limited, among others. "People said there was not enough broadband, the data was too expensive, there were not enough phones".

Initially, there were 24 companies who purchased the rights papers in a bid to contest for the several rights up for grabs in the auction. That should tell you this is the right figure. I think it can become a lot more exciting depending on how the data prices behave and how the availability and access to broadband and wifi continues to grow in this country.

"You have to understand digital market is growing very rapidly".

Facebook may well have been planning to use India as a kind of testbed for the idea - earlier this year the social media firm livestreamed a regular-season National Basketball Association match between the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings for the first time, but the stream was only accessible to viewers in India.

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