US tech giant, Amazon will not bid for the five-year IPL streaming rights, India’s premier league cricket, projected to be worth more than 500 billion rupees ($6.4 billion). This leaves the much-anticipated prized auction largely to Disney and Reliance. Amazon has deployed about $6.5 billion in its India business and operates the Prime Video streaming service, has relayed to the BCCI, the cricket board overseeing the Indian Premier League tourney, that it won’t be participating in the bid for streaming rights.
Ambani-backed Viacom18 Has Partnered with James Murdoch and Bodhi Tree
Furthermore, recent media reports were reporting a supposed war between Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani, one of Asia’s richest men, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Ambani’s Reliance, which manages the largest retail chain in India and also the largest telecom operator, has been gearing up in recent months to go all-in for the IPL cricket streaming rights. Ambani-backed TV network Viacom18 recently partnered with — and raised capital from — James Murdoch and Uday Shankar’s firm Bodhi Tree.
The duo previously ran Star India and their bet on Hotstar and cricket streaming made the Indian app a crown jewel in Disney’s portfolio. Now they are going against their former firm. Disney, which currently holds the IPL cricket streaming rights, and Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance are expected to go neck-to-neck for the auction, which industry analysts expect could be worth $4 billion to $7 billion.
IPL Cricket Streaming Rights Could Have Drawn in a Large Number of Viewers to the Amazon App
Winning IPL cricket streaming rights would have allowed Amazon to significantly draw a large number of viewers to its streaming app, Prime Video. The company’s service, which already airs some cricket matches, is among one of the most popular on-demand video streaming apps in the South Asian market, thanks in part to an increasingly growing number of original titles.
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