IPL media rights: Sony, Zee, Disney Star

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For the next five years, Disney Star has secured the broadcast media rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a fee of Rs 23,575 crore. Viacom18 has been awarded the aggregate digital rights for Rs 23,758 crore. 

The linear TV rights will be paid for by Disney Star at Rs 57.40 crore per match, while the consolidated digital rights will be paid for by Viacom18 at Rs 57.90 crore to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). 

On the third day of the media rights auction, Disney Star and Viacom18 battled it out for non-exclusive rights to the tournament’s most-watched matches. The non-exclusive rights to 98 matches were captured by Viacom18, which had secured the digital broadcast rights for Rs 3,258 crore. The non-exclusive matches had a reserve price of Rs 1,440 crore. 

Viacom18 secured the broadcast rights for Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, while Times Internet (TIL) obtained the rights for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the United States, according to BCCI secretary Jay Shah. 

The loss of Disney Star’s digital rights is being viewed as a major setback for the broadcaster, which has risen to the top of India’s video streaming industry thanks to the IPL. The Walt Disney Company’s chairman of worldwide content and operations, Rebecca Campbell, who is based in India, said the broadcaster made “disciplined bids, with a focus on long-term value” in a statement. 

“Given the sum required to get that bundle, we decided not to proceed with the digital rights.” According to Elara Capital, the user base of Disney+ Hotstar is likely to drop by 40-50 percent as a result of the loss of digital rights. These subscribers are likely to switch from Disney+ Hotstar to Reliance. 

Ad charges for the IPL on television are already exorbitant, ranging from Rs 15-18 lakh for a 10-second spot. According to industry analysts, TV ad rates for 2023 will be as high as Rs 19-20 lakh every 10 seconds. Analysts predict that advertisers will be hesitant to pay anything more than an 8-9 percent premium next year. 

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