(CTN News) – According to a source at the Indian Cricket Board, Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani beat out global media giants to win the rights to stream the IPL for $2.6 billion.
The television rights to the Indian Premier League, one of the world’s most popular sporting events, will be retained by Star India, owned by US behemoth Disney, according to reports.
Both deals are reportedly worth about $5.65 billion, dwarfing the $2.55 billion that Star paid in 2017 for digital and TV rights for the previous five seasons of the two-month T20 contest.
On Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was still auctioning off two other packages, for the international broadcast of the league and non-exclusive rights for certain matches.
Bringing some of cricket’s top stars with bumper salaries, the first IPL helped make Twenty20 – a shorter format of the game – hugely popular, attracting hundreds of millions of viewers and inspiring numerous copycat events worldwide.
Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, created the Viacom18 joint venture with Paramount Global and an investment group backed by Rupert Murdoch’s son James, reports said.
The company, which televised the IPL for the first 10 years after its launch in 2008, was competing to get a share of the competition, which recently completed its 15th edition.
Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos’s Amazon pulled out of the IPL after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on rights to European soccer and American football.