Sony, Disney Star, and Viacom18, three of India's largest broadcasters, competed for the rights...
Digital Desk: Reliance-backed Viacom18 has bagged BCCI TV and digital rights, in a five-year deal worth ₹5,963 crore. This strengthens Viacom's OTT proposal and weakens Disney Star's position as the market leader in terms of digital content.
The cricket organization auctioned off the TV and digital rights for India's domestic cricket coverage on Thursday. Similar to the IPL media rights auction, the BCCI separately auctioned the TV and digital rights to the cricket home matches. Sony, Disney Star, and Viacom18, three of India's largest broadcasters, competed for the rights.
With its winning bid, Viacom18 has paid nearly ₹7.76 crore more than last cycle’s ₹60 crore per match paid by Disney Star.
Taking to X, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah wrote, “Congratulations Viacom18 for winning the BCCI Media Rights for both linear and digital for the next 5 years. India Cricket will continue to grow in both spaces as after IPL, and Women IPL, we extend the partnership for BCCI Media Rights as well. Together we will continue to capture the imagination of cricket fans.”
The cricket governing body had set the bilateral rights' base price at 45 crore per match. BCCI receives a 13% premium over their asking price from Viacom's offer.
It is not surprising that Viacom paid more for the digital rights given their dedication to expanding JioCinema, their digital streaming service. In contrast to predictions made before to the auctions, however, Viacom outperformed Sony in the competition for TV rights.
With the purchase of the BCCI bilateral rights, Viacom18 has solidified its position as the industry leader in the OTT market. Elara Capital's Karan Taurani stated, “Jio Cinema is here to stay as a large competitor in the OTT space. One platform (Viacom) acquiring both (TV and Digital) rights of marquee content augurs well from a bundling and monetisation perspective.”
However, Taurani added that the selling price of the BCCI rights was below expectations as the advertising environment continues to remain volatile.
Disney's lack of interest in keeping the media rights to high-profile cricket material solidifies its strategy to move its OTT business outside of India.