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RCOM Calls For Partners To Distribute ICC Cricket Content On Mobile

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This is rather unusual: Reliance Communications, which holds the global rights for distributing mobile content related to International Cricket Council events, has issued a press release calling for partners to “distribute the ICC mobile rights & content to various Telecom Service Providers and Content Aggregators across the world”, offering a partnership period for 1 month from the date of commencement of each event in 2013 covering prior and post duration of each tournament. RCOM holds ICC mobile content rights till 2015, and this is a call for content related to two events: the ICC Women World Cup 2013 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013. The rights on offer:

Why Is This Unusual?

As far as I remember, I haven’t come across a licensee of a Cricket body make a public call for partners; typically, it’s the Cricket body that puts out a note that it’s rights are on offer for licensing, then a company like RCOM, or another like Times Internet Ltd (in case of the Indian Premier League), which then quietly partner with other companies for distribution. Typically, there is a rush for this kind of content, and RCOM itself has previously partnered with VAS companies for distribution of video clips, wallpapers, score updates, animations etc., and as far as I remember, never actively sought partners.

So, if you’re from the VAS industry, tell us what has changed: not enough takers in the VAS industry for Cricket content?


Also, do look at this recent Delhi High Court judgment which significantly impacts Cricket content on mobile and the Internet: Delhi High Court Says Cricket Updates Go Into Public Domain After 2 Min; Implications

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  • The mobile media rights for International matches weren’t given out by BCCI till 2011 . Hence there was no such media content under VAS in Mobile till 2011. Moreover , we all know the fate of companies who invested millions on Mobile content rights for IPL in the initial editions . Its only “live score uddate” that fits the fraud play of VAS companies, which is outside purview of media rights here in India.
    Even globally , mobile media rights for such premium sporting events like EPL , La Liga etc have not made it big.  Most of the time , its acquired by the broadcasting firms to avoid somebody else using the same for marketing purpose. 
    ICC mobile media rights is not very attractive, commercially . So , there is no surprise in RCOM trying to hedge its potential loss by trying to get many to acquire  it in pieces !