BCCI DIGITAL RIGHTS: The big players war on the cards
If the Indian Premier League bids by the big players of the digital world were an indication, fasten your seat belts for…
If the Indian Premier League bids by the big players of the digital world were an indication, fasten your seat belts for the real “digital rights” war on Tuesday. The digital rights of the Indian cricket team’s home matches will be on the block and the digital players are expected to go all out to grab the pie. The BCCI rights tender in past has always been the battle between the top players of the broadcast world. Now the times have changed and the Package 2 for the Indian Sub-Continent Digital Rights package in the rights tender will be the most sought after during the e-auction.
In sharp contrast to the broadcast rights package which is a two-horse race between Star India and Sony Pictures Network, the digital rights will see real action as the streaming platforms of the broadcasters will be given real hard times by the biggest of the global digital platforms. Star’s big bet Hotstar and Sony LIV from SPN stable are bound to be pushed by Facebook, Google and Reliance Jio. Yupp TV is the other OTT player who has picked the tender but is expected to limit its bid to the Rest of World digital rights package.
The digital penetration of the Indian market is growing so is insatiable appetite of the digital players. Monies, business models, P&L’S is not the language players in this space speak, customer acquisition is what they look for. To acquire attention and space of Indian customers these players will not leave any stone unturned. The sample of the same was already given during the IPL bid last year.
During IPL bid last year Facebook, Jio and Airtel’s bid was more than double of what Hotstar had put on the table. Hotstar had committed ₹ 1,443 crores for the IPL digital rights. In comparison Jio had made a bid of ₹ 3,075.72 crores, Airtel had committed ₹3,200 crores and Facebook was ready to pay a whopping ₹3,900 crores.
Hotstar had bagged the rights on the strength of Star India’s consolidated highest bid.
The Facebook had failed to acquire the rights, but the impact of its ₹ 3,900 crore bid was felt by all including the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who let go of the control 21st Century Fox to Walt Disney Company in what was reported to be the ‘deal of the century’. Murdoch had confessed that Facebook’s IPL bid had made him look at the Indian sports rights market ina new light.
The market now is expecting Facebook to come better prepared as the social media giant has surveyed the various packages on offer where the cricket rights are concerned. Alternately, with Facebook TV looking to make a mark, Google thriving on the video platform through Youtube and Jio Infocomm launching an interactive Cricket Channel on JioTV App will make the battle very difficult for Hotstar.
The base price for the digital rights for the first of five years has been pegged at ₹8 cr per match and for the next four years at ₹7 cr per match. Don’t be surprised if the digital players cross the limits in outsmarting each other.