Global social media giant Facebook has become the latest company to join the race to acquire digital media rights for one of the most viewed sports league — Indian Premier League (IPL). It is the most attended cricket league and ranks sixth in the world among all sports leagues. It became the first sporting event in the world to be broadcasted live on YouTube.
After Amazon India, Jio and Twitter, a report from LiveMint says that the social media giant Facebook has also purchased the tender documents for the digital rights of IPL. The report is based on two people are of the matter.
As per a senior official at BCCI, who remains anonymous, Facebook has made the payment for the tender documents, which is priced at $10,000.
With so many corporate giants showing interest in acquiring digital rights, this highlights the changing media landscape in the region. Online video content is becoming more popular in India, thanks to the decreasing rates of data charges.
BCCI will give the television rights for 10 years starting from 2018 and digital media rights for five years. The competitive bidding process will close on 25th October and its results will be announced the same day.
The Internet and mobile rights were previously awarded to Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, a unit of Star India, for a period of three years to 2017. In 2009, Sony had paid $1.63 billion for IPL’s television broadcasting rights for 10 years.
Facebook is focused on helping its partners experiment with a variety of live content — from “behind the scenes” access to first-person athlete question and answers, to live games. A company’s spokesperson said,
We’ve seen great results when we’ve streamed games live, and continue to be interested in testing the viability of this content on Facebook.
However, Amazon, Jio, Twitter and Facebook are not the only one in the race for the rights. Other corporate giants such as Sony Pictures Networks India, ESPN, Star India, and a few other international broadcasters have already joined the race.
In August, Facebook streamed Wayne Rooney’s testimonial match between Manchester United and Everton via Facebook Live. The platform allowed users to chat with other fans, send greetings to Rooney and learn how to donate to his foundation.
This summer, it has streamed nine US basketball exhibition games live, giving fans around the world the opportunity to watch the game’s brightest stars prepare for the Olympics. In June, Facebook live-streamed all matches of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, using its Facebook Live. The event was live streamed across 40 countries, including India.
On the other hand, Twitter has a partnership with the National Football League. Fans can simply go to tnf.twitter.com to watch Thursday Night Football LIVE for free this season and participate in real-time conversations around the game.