With advent rise in popularity of live-streaming on the interwebs, Twitter is pushing further to up the ante against its key competitors. Thus, the micro-blogging website has today joined the race to acquire digital rights for the 10th edition of India’s marquee cricket event Indian Premier League(IPL), reports ETTech. This announcement comes at the heels of Twitter’s non-existent buy-out and aggravated interest in scaling its userbase.
Some of the biggest corporate giants, including Sony Pictures Networks India, ESPN, Reliance Jio, Star India among other international broadcasters have already joined the race. But Twitter will primarily be up against Amazon India, who is looking to bolster its Prime Video subscription service, scheduled for launch this festive season.
Commenting on their participation in the bidding process, Aneesh Madani, Head of Sports Partnerships at Twitter India says,
We are constantly evaluating opportunities around the world to transform the live sports experiences for fans in partnership with our most valued global sports partners and this IPL tender purchase is representative of that.
Twitter has recently been trying to save its flailing user numbers by acquiring partnerships for live-streaming events. It is a suitable transaction for both parties, because Twitter is a community platform where a humongous number of discussions revolving around current events takes place.
It has just recently secured a partnership with National Football League(NFL) to stream Thursday Night Football live for free to its users. Football fans can now visit tnf.twitter.com to watch the livestream and join real-time conversations(tweet) about their favorite team or game in the same window. The company had recently also live-streamed the U.S. presidential debates on its platform.
Looking to secure a similar partnership and provide users in India with an enhanced outlook for each game, Madani further adds,
Cricket fans watch the IPL with Twitter and love tweeting about it. Globally, there were more than 10.6 million tweets related to the IPL in 2016, a 56 per cent increase over 2015 and nine out of ten Twitter users in India are fans of cricket.
At Twitter, we see this interest growing and are excited to continue working with long standing partners like the IPL to build a global, mobile fan base for cricket in the years to come.
Board of Control for Cricket in India, popularly known as BCCI, had recently announced that it will disburse digital media rights for the IPL for the next 5 years, and television broadcasting rights for next 10 years. The board has already received an overwhelming response from potential bidders and is excited to announce the next buyer of these rights.
The TV broadcasting rights are currently held by Sony Pictures Networks Pvt. Ltd, with its tenure ending in 2017, whereas the internet and mobile rights are held by Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, a unit of Star India.
The sole contendors for the TV rights are yet again expected to be Sony Pictures and Star India. But, with the entry of Twitter in the picture, Amazon India, Hotstar, and Reliance Jio will have to face some serious competition for the 5-year digital rights deal. The micro-blogging platform isn’t expected to tap out of the bidding process so very easily.