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Jio, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon All Fighting Hard To Win IPL Digital Broadcast Rights

Jio, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon All Fighting Hard To Win IPL Digital Broadcast Rights

Slowly, but gradually, digital broadcasting in India is turning into mainstream. As per recent reports emerging, some of the biggest digital media portals are fighting hard to get digital broadcasting rights of IPL tournament, which means that media landscape is transforming faster than we anticipated.

As per eMarketer, global spending on TV based advertisements will become lesser than media spending on digital properties, and this trend is now all set to sweep India as well.

If social media portals like Facebook, Twitter are willing to spend crores of rupees to grab IPL’s digital broadcasting rights, then it means that advertisement rates on these portals will also jump, thereby signalling a massive transformation of advertisement and media industry.

Transformation of IPL Broadcasting in India – The Digital Way

As per an unnamed BCI official, Facebook has recently spent $10,000 to purchase forms for bidding digital media rights of the tournament.

Earlier, Twitter, Amazon and Reliance Jio had bought the tender forms, which means that for the 2017 session of IPL, there is going to be an intense fight to grab digital media rights.

BCCI is all set to sell 10-year TV broadcasting right, and 3 year digital broadcasting rights, starting from 2017.

In 2015, Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd. had acquired Internet and Mobile broadcasting rights of IPL by paying Rs 302.2 crore for a period of 3 years, which will end next year.

Now, Novi Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Star India, which is basically a TV centric medium. Their rival Sony had paid $1.63 billion to acquire TV broadcasting rights of IPL in 2009, for which Star had to fight back.

However, now, digital and mobile broadcasting has become so big, that digital media companies are bidding hard to get exclusive rights to showcase the matches. This means that on some level, TV and digital media have become equal in terms of viewership and sponsorships.

This is indeed a big leap for digital industry in the country.

How Big Is Sports’ Digital Broadcasting?

During ICC World T20 this year, 5.75 billion impressions of Tweets related with the tournament happened, which broke all records of engagement. This year, around 10.6 million Tweets about IPL were shared, which is 56% increase from 2015.

In 2015, India-Pakistan World Cup match generated 118 million impressions from 1.7 million Tweets; and IPL was the most popular hashtag in India.

Twitter’s head of sports partnerships, Aneesh Madani said, “Sports and Twitter are made for each other. Nine out of 10 Twitter users in India are fans of cricket and sports is right up there as a conversation driver.”

Twitter is already in partnership with National Football League and fans can watch live football by visiting tnf.twitter.com, where they can chat with other sports fans, live, as the match is being played.

On the other hand, Facebook live-streamed Hero Caribbean Premier League across 40 countries using their new feature called Facebook Live. Earlier this year, Facebook live streamed 9 major basketball games in US as the players prepared for Olympics.

In August this year, Facebook live streamed Wayne Rooney’s testimonial match between Manchester United and Everton, which was viewed by millions of football fans, across the globe.

A spokesperson from Facebook 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,”

In March this year, Jio tested their 4G services by offering free WiFi at 6 stadiums during IPL and World T20 matches.

It’s not the first time that IPL matches would be broadcasted digitally – nexGTv used digital medium to showcase IPL matches in 2013, Times Internet’s GoCricket.com broadcasted live IPL matches in 2014, and Star TV did the same in 2015-16.

However, the entry of social media giants in the multi-crore bidding process of IPL’s digital broadcasting is something big, and huge; because now, digital is mainstream.

If given a choice, which platform would you choose to watch IPL matches live on Internet – Facebook, Twitter, Amazon or Jio? Do let us know by commenting right here!

Image Source: ESPN Cricinfo


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Mohul Ghosh: Mohul keenly observes the nuances of Indian startup world; and tries to demystify the secrets behind Technology, Marketing, Mobile and Internet. He is a Writer by passion, Marketer by choice and Entrepreneur by compulsion. Follow him on Twitter here: @_mohul
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