"We believe that the IPL is a powerful property and lots of value can be created in the digital (world) and on TV for fans", Shankar said explaining why Star bid both, for the digital and TV rights of the premier cricket property that was with Sony for the last 10 years. If this is where we are with the IPL rights, then you can imagine the level of competitiveness that can happen in the next set of rights. Hence, Star India added a premium of Rs 8,465 crore on the consolidated bid, which made the total amount as Rs 16,347.5 crore, thereby becoming the largest bidder of consolidated rights. According to sources, Star India's digital vertical HotStar would be used for live streaming of IPL matches in India.
How many rights were there earlier? Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd bid Rs3,075.72 crore for the internet and mobile rights. The Star group made a consolidated bid for all categories.
"We believe that Indian sports have barely scratched the surface of its potential", he said in a statement.
Jawahar Goel, chairman and managing director at Dish TV wrote in the letter that "Star India will exploit their monopoly status for maximising their subscription and advertisement revenue at the cost of consumers". Shankar was non-committal and said Star would think about it in due course.
Sony and Star were the two companies which stood the test of scrutiny for India broadcast rights. This could be up for grabs for anyone. In July, the BCCI chose to set the duration for all the rights' categories at five years.
However, with access to more viewing options, especially with the advent of digital content, Indians are increasingly watching the games online. A year later, the firm re-acquired rights for $1.63 billion for 10 years following a legal battle.
The IPL is managed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which received 14 bids for television and digital rights for the auction. If the current bids are anything to go by, it signifies a huge percentile jump for the digital bandwagon. Among the notable absentees were Amazon, Twitter, ESPN Digital, Yahoo and Discovery.
BamTech was disqualified as they did not meet the requisite criteria.
Star India had paid around Rs 303 crore for three-year digital rights in 2015. Initially, 18 companies were in contention with the bids scheduled to be opened on October 25 past year.
After failing to win the IPL rights, it's doubtful Facebook will just give up on big-time sports.
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