Amazon India joins the race to win the broadcasting rights of IPL

By : |September 26, 2016 0

Indian audiences are accustomed to getting most of the live IPL updates from dominant players like Sony Pictures Network or Star India Pvt Ltd, who have been broadcasting cricket tournaments for decades.

However, now they have a new contender. Amazon India has reportedly made a bid for obtaining the digital rights to broadcast the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.

This move is being considered as an indication of the company’s big bet that video content will help it attract new users for its ‘Prime’ service, in the market.

On Sunday, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that it will be awarding the television broadcasting rights for the IPL for the next 10 years and the digital media rights for five years. The tenders opened on the 18 September and the competitive bidding process is expected to close on the 25 October.

Currently, Sony holds the IPL rights; however, the rights will expire in 2017 with IPL’s 10th edition. The Internet and mobile rights are held by Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, a unit of Star India, until 2017.

Both Sony and Star are television majors and have traditionally battled it out between themselves for the broadcasting rights to many major tournaments, including IPL. With Amazon India’s entry, who is willing to spend from its abundance of cash, interesting changes are expected to come forth.

Amazon India recently launched its global Prime membership program in more than 100 cities in the country. The company said then that it will introduce video content in the coming months. According to the sources related to the news, Amazon India is in talks with film studios to come up with movies and other video content for Prime.

According to data released by TV rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council of India in June, total viewership of IPL calculated by impressions stood at 1.02 billion. Considering the intuitive huge interest generated by the IPL series, Amazon India is expecting to reach tens of millions of new users.

On the other hand, BCCI is satisfied with the response it has been drawing so far and expects the global market to show a keen interest in the digital rights of the IPL.

IPL

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