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Digital deal overtakes traditional TV in battle of bids for the IPL media rights

It is an era of digital viewing in India, as is clearly depicted by the auction of Indian Premier League (IPL) bids for the next five years. With the BCCI garnering a whopping Rs 48,390 crore value from e-auctions, making it one of the richest entities in the sporting world, the digital deal saw a higher value than IPL TV rights.

Announcing the winners, Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jay Shah said that Star India won India TV rights with their bid of Rs 23,575 crore, while billionaire Mukesh Ambani-backed Viacom18 bagged digital rights with its winning bid of Rs 23,758 crore.

It is noteworthy to mention that for the first time ever, digital media rights have sold for more amount than TV, reflecting the absorption of OTT in the Indian household as major telecom industries now provide cheap internet packages for easy access.

Viacom18 Media Private Limited, which has won the digital rights for IPL, is an entertainment joint venture between Network18, owned by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, which owns 51 per cent stake, and Paramount Global (previously known as ViacomCBS) having 49 per cent stake. In addition to this, another RIL-owned company, Jio, catapulted India to this digital powerhouse position with its cheap data when it launched. The telco currently has over 400 million customers.

The value of per IPL match made more than a 100 per cent jump from previous Rs 54.5 crore to above Rs 114 crore (approx). Globally, the per match value ($14.61 million) in IPL is second only to NFL where every match is worth $17 million. The new deal also ends the monopoly of a single broadcaster. Sony had acquired the rights by paying Rs 8200 crore for the first 10 years (2008-17) while Star with a bid price of Rs 16347.50 won it for the next five years.

Commenting on the final announcement of IPL Media Rights, Paytm boss Vijay Shekhar Sharma highlighted how OTT has outdone TV.

The higher amount of digital rights also means that OTT has surpassed TV rights as the former industry has seen tremendous growth in the country over the past few years.

Moreover, as per the norms of IPL e-auction, the owners are given a secret code through which they bid. No BCCI office-bearers and employees have an inkling of the bidding companies’ code. Business Today

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