Amazon, Google wooed by India for $750m cricket rights
Now Reading
Amazon, Google wooed by India’s BCCI for $750m cricket rights: Report

Amazon, Google wooed by India’s BCCI for $750m cricket rights: Report

The reportedly lukewarm response by media firms ahead of BCCI’s auction highlights the struggle to make money from bilateral cricket series

BCCI to auction cricket broadcast rights for bilateral series

India’s cricket governing body is trying to lure global giants and Alphabet to bid in a media rights auction of its team’s games amid waning interest from firms who had recently competed fiercely for the wildly successful Indian Premier League.

The proposed starting date of the auction process for the media rights of the so-called bilateral series, played by the Indian team against other countries, for the next five years, is postponed by at least two weeks as the Board of Control for Cricket in India reaches out to more firms to drum up interest in the property, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bilateral cricket series losing out to IPL

The lukewarm response by media firms ahead of the auction highlights the struggle to make money amid weak advertising revenues, with the shorter-format IPL being the top cricket property garnering higher viewership over the years.

The sale process is running two weeks behind a timeline suggested by its adviser, Ernst & Young, under which auctions would have been completed by August end, they said.

EY expects the sale of rights to 102 matches to raise at least $750m, almost the same price for what it was sold five years back, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. In contrast, the rights to IPL, which was auctioned last year, had surged almost threefold from the previous offering.

The IPL remains one of the world’s most popular sporting contests and is still garnering the most eyeballs among cricket events. Last year, BCCI raised record amounts of money by selling media rights for the IPL through an auction as Viacom 18 Media, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and Walt Disney outbid rivals, including Sony Group.

However, Ambani’s JioCinema put the 2023 edition of IPL online for free and Disney struggled to make profits due to weak advertisement revenues.

Viacom 18 will aggressively bid for the digital media rights to the bilateral series, while Disney undergoing a round of cost reduction globally, might take a cautious stance, the people said.

Representatives for BCCI, Disney and EY declined to comment. Spokespersons Viacom 18, Amazon and Alphabet didn’t respond to emails seeking comments.

Star India, a Disney unit since 2019, had bought rights for the bilateral series in the five years from 2018 for INR61bn($741m) and has clocked losses of about INR10bn from the asset, the people said. A decision on breaking up the media rights into digital and linear this time around and conducting an e-auction is yet to be taken, they said.

Read: Baseball United reveals schedule for its upcoming Dubai showcase games

You might also like


Scroll To Top