Another piece of the IPL Digital Rights puzzle: it appears that mobile VAS company Zenga Entertainment has acquired rights to monetize mobile content related to the Indian Premer League for five years, starting 2009.
These “worldwide” rights have been licensed from TMT Investment Pte Ltd, which is holding company of NetLinkBlue; according to this Telecom Tiger article, NetLinkBlue had bagged live streaming and mobile rights to the IPL for 10 years for $50 Million. We wonder if the value of that contract has been reduced now, like it was in case of the portal rights.
We do wish there was clarity on streaming rights, because according the TT story, NetLinkBlue had rights only for India, Pakistan and the Middle East, while the release claims that worldwide rights have been assigned to Zenga. Do remember that Willow.tv had IPL streaming rights for the Americas. 75% in Willow.tv was acquired by Reliance BIG Entertainment. We’ve contacted Shabir Momin, CEO of Zenga, for more details on the rights, and also how they intend to monetize.
Zenga has two Cricket related products:
— ZengaTV for live video streaming, which the company claims will work over 2G networks as well
— CrickZenga for realtime ball by ball coverage of the matches. This is available for free, so expect an advertising supported component involved.
In our opinion, the value for Zenga lies primarily in the live streaming, because other Cricket websites, including those on mobile like Cricinfo and CricketNext, will also be able to update scores live.