IPL News provided by 11IC, according to people familiar with the matter, the conglomerate controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani will stream Indian Premier League cricket games for free. The conglomerate will use its exclusive rights to one of the popular viewed sporting events in the world to compete with Walt Disney Company and Amazon.com Inc. in India’s booming media market.
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) streaming rights were licensed to the joint venture between Paramount Global and Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. last year for a price of $2.7 billion, beating out competitors Disney and Sony Group Corp. Previously, Disney held those rights, and the company made use of them to increase the number of subscribers to both of its streaming services, Disney and Hotstar.
According to the people, Viacom18 is taking a different approach, offering the games to as many people as possible to generate advertising sales. They declined to be identified because the move hadn’t been announced publicly, so they could not reveal their identity. The success of free media services like Google and Facebook, which generate billions of dollars in advertising sales in the country, has been significantly higher than that of paid premium products like Netflix.
The executives of Viacom18 have estimated that more than 550 million people will watch the Indian Premier League games over several weeks. This will boost the conglomerate’s technology and internet ambitions, which range from online retail to entertainment.
Beginning on March 31, a series of matches, each of which will last for a manageable three hours, will continue for close to eight weeks. The first match in the series will take place on March 31. Users can watch an unlimited number of games for a total amount of time on any internet-connected device of their choosing, thanks to Viacom18.
Reliance has been successful in the past by offering mobile services at significantly lower prices than its competitors. As a result, the company has amassed hundreds of millions of customers and driven its competitors out of business. Reliance Jio is the country’s largest telecom operator by market share and is getting close to having half a billion subscribers. Ambani’s conglomerate is the owner of Reliance Jio. The five-year contract with the Indian Premier League gives it an unmatched reach, allowing it to capitalize on a tournament called the “Super Bowl of cricket.”
The price of cricket rights skyrocketed over the previous year due to the growing competition among media companies to strengthen their fledgling streaming businesses. The number of users using the internet in India is growing at a dizzying rate, and major media companies worldwide and in India see the country as a potential driver for expanding their customer bases. Disney, which had previously owned the rights to stream the Indian Premier League, was unsuccessful in the auction but was able to outbid Sony and win the rights to broadcast the IPL on television. After completing the necessary paperwork for the auction’s beginning, one of the competitors, Amazon, decided to withdraw from the bids in the final hour.
Ambani came out on top by offering nearly three times as much money as Disney did in the prior transaction. Disney paid even more money, approximately $3 billion, for the conventional television package. Together with Paramount, billionaire James Murdoch, and Uday Shankar, formerly the head of Hotstar, Ambani placed a bid for the rights to broadcast the Indian Premier League.