September 25, 2023

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Amazon, Google courted by India’s cricket body for $750 million media rights

BCCI raised record amounts of money by selling media rights for the IPL through an auction as Viacom 18 Media Ltd., controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and Walt Disney Co. outbid rivals, including Sony Group Corp. However, Ambani’s JioCinema put the 2023 edition of IPL online for free and Disney struggled to make profits due to weak advertisement revenues. 

Viacom 18 will aggressively bid for the digital media rights to the bilateral series, while Disney undergoing a round of cost reduction globally, might take a cautious stance, the people said.

Representatives for BCCI, Disney and EY declined to comment. Spokespersons Viacom 18, Amazon and Alphabet didn’t respond to emails seeking comments.

Star India, a Disney unit since 2019, had bought rights for the bilateral series in the five years from 2018 for 61 billion rupees ($741 million) and has clocked losses of about 10 billion rupees from the asset, the people said. A decision on breaking up the media rights into digital and linear this time around and conducting an e-auction is yet to be taken, they said.

—Bloomberg News


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