Big bucks will be at play again to acquire the television and digital rights for cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL). Picked up by then Star India for a five-year period ending 2022 for Rs 16,348 crore, this time the bidding could end up fetching as much as Rs 30,000 crore, going by street buzz. And guess who’s leading the stakes this time? Mukesh Ambani’s Jio.
Ambani owns a broadcasting network—Viacom18, which recently picked up the La Liga rights—an OTT brand and a huge telecom play. In terms of both viewership and revenue, the IPL has grown by leaps and bounds since its first edition in 2008. In the process, valuation numbers have only zoomed.
And, of course, Ambani owns the Mumbai Indians team. So what? Well, the broadcasting landscape has changed, you see. Star is now owned by a conservative Disney, while Sony and Zee have proposed to merge their businesses, but that will take at least a few months. Will these two be willing to cut a really fat cheque? Nay, goes the street buzz. Ergo, advantage Ambani.
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