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Star wins IPL rights for ₹16,000 crore over five years; implications

In a massive coup, Star India has won global digital and TV rights for the next five years, outbidding competitors like Jio and Sony Pictures by putting up ₹16,347.50 crore in a consolidated bid for rights across these categories. From 2018 to 2022, Star will have exclusive broadcasting rights for the league. Star outbid Sony, which won ten-year broadcasting rights for the IPL in 2008, which expires next year. It also outbid Times Internet and Facebook, as both Internet companies try to get a foothold in streaming sporting events. Amazon and Twitter, both of whom want a piece of the sports streaming pie, did not submit bids, even though they bought tender documents for the auction. ESPN and Yahoo also did not submit bids. https://twitter.com/LalitKModi/status/904626637848936448 This is a big win for Star, and for its streaming service Hotstar. Most of Hotstar's traffic comes from its sports streams, and it has seen this number grow steadily over the last three years where the company had the rights to the IPL — continuing to have the rights to India's most popular sporting event is a huge advantage for the company, and gives them enough time to perhaps paywall IPL streams in its Premium plan. Sony had paid ₹8200 crore for ten years' television broadcasting rights, whereas Star had paid ₹302.2 crore for online streaming rights three year ago. Note that Star also has a deal with the ICC called “cricket’s biggest-ever global broadcast agreement” for eight years (2015 to 2023), that includes 18…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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