Amazon, Reliance set to lock horns over India’s cricket media rights
Amazon and Reliance industries to fight over IPL (Indian Premier League) media rights. Both companies will compete for the five-year TV and digital broadcast rights of IPL.
Amazon.com Inc and Reliance Industries Limited are expected to take on India units of Sony Group Corp and Walt Disney Co for exclusive five-year television and digital broadcast rights to the two-month series of IPL matches. According to sources, the cost could run to a record 500 billion rupees ($6.7 billion). For these rights, broadcasters are expected to pay the amount to the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI).
Anton Rublievskyi, head of Parimatch, a betting company that advertised at the IPL in 2022, said that cricket is the second-biggest sport in the world with more than two billion fans. Anton added that IPL is like its Super Bowl.
Disney-owned Star India along with Sony and its planned acquisition Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd paid 163.48 billion rupees for the digital and television rights of IPL until 2022. The IPL’s matches reached 350 million viewers in the 2021 IPL season. Star India is one of the top broadcasters in India.
According to Reuters, traditional media firms now face stiff competition from Reliance, oil to retail conglomerate, and Amazon because both companies are building up their digital platforms to attract viewers.
Reportedly, both companies are already fighting a courtroom battle over the acquisition of assets of Future Group.
Reliance is also in talks with investors to raise $1.6 billion for its broadcasting joint venture, Viacom18. Mukesh Ambani is the Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited. Reliance oil-to-chemicals and retail businesses are popular in the market. Amazon Prime Video recently began live-streaming of cricket matches to attract viewers. Amazon wants to win the IPL rights to expand the platform’s user base.