Social media behemoth Facebook had placed an unsuccessful $600 million bid to secure five years digital distribution rights for the IPL (Indian Premier League) cricket matches.
However, STAR India, which pledged that there will no song and dance affair in the upcoming IPL season but a serious cricket, has won the global media rights, outstripping the 13 other companies. Its bid of Rs 16,347.5 crore ensured that they will hold all the rights from 2018 to 2022.
According to a Recode report, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg was willing to put up that kind of money “is a big, bold declaration that the company will write real cheques in order to get its hands on must-see sports content.”
#IPLMediaRights | STAR, Sony eligible for TV rights; Airtel, Reliance Jio, Facebook in fray for digital
— HT Sports (@HTSportsNews) September 4, 2017
Facebook, which has been looking into more original content for its live video offering, including live sports, was reported to have live streamed all 46 football matches of the top level Mexican football league Liga MX 2017 season.
Micro-blogging website Twitter is already live streaming a range of sports on its platform. In July 2016, Twitter started streaming from Wimbledon, and had paid the National Football League (NFL) $10 million for the rights to stream some of the league’s Thursday Night Football games.
In November 2016, Twitter launched Android TV app allowing users to stream NFL and other live videos available on its platform.
IPL media rights were divided into seven different categories — Indian television rights, Indian digital rights, the US, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and rest of the world.
Image source: Hindustan Times
Even for the India subcontinent digital rights, individually Star (Rs1,443cr) bid less than Airtel (Rs3,280 cr), Times Internet (Rs 1,787.50 cr), Facebook (Rs 3,900 cr), and Jio (Rs 3,075.72 cr).
Initially, 24 companies picked up rights papers to contest for the several rights up for grabs in the auction organised by the BCCI. Several big companies like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo, Reliance Jio, STAR India, Sony Pictures, Discovery, Sky, British Telecom and ESPN Digital Media purchased the bid.