Viacom18 Catches Digital Rights To Indian Premier League Cricket For $2.6B; Disney’s Star Loses Out But Retains TV Broadcasts

Viacom 18 has ousted the opposition and grabbed the streaming rights sought for the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

According to The Times of India, the company paid 205B rupees ($2.6B) for the rights to the Indian subcontinent, which covers the next five years.

Online as Competitive in Streaming Market as India IPL The deal will put Paramount Global, the company owned by Reliance Industries and Bodhi Tree Systems directly in the limelight and attract many new customers to its services.

Meanwhile, Disney-owned Star India retained the rights to TV broadcasts, paying 236 billion rupees ($3 billion) for the privilege. The company previously had streaming rights, which has been seen as a driving factor in Disney+ Hotstar Has become the largest player in the Indian market. Losing the rights online is a big blow, but Disney may have considered the cost too high, paying significantly less for both TV and online in 2017.

The deals put the Indian subcontinent’s rights at a combined value of $5.6B for the 410 matches, which are usually played in April and May.

The auction is still taking place and TV and digital rights for the tournament outside India and some non-exclusive matches are set to be grabbed. Bidding is expected to begin on Tuesday and official announcements will follow.

Cricket is the national pastime in India, attracting millions of spectators to the matches. Popular sportspersons can match the star power of Bollywood’s biggest names and the chatter around the IPL auction has steadily turned into a major news event.

Amazon was tipped to make a bid, but last week decided against a move, leaving many tipping. Sony Corp as a favourite. However, Viacom18 has picked up pace and will definitely see an uptick in subscriptions now.