Sony lost IPL broadcast rights to Star India, Rajesh Kaul the president of Sony says it is disappointing but now they are not dependent on the domestic league anymore.
Losing the IPL Broadcast Rights to Star India was quite disappointing but Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) stated that the believe it has enough cricket in its portfolio to challenge their main rivals after striking a new deal with Cricket Australia last week.
Sony Pictures Networks, owned by Sony Corporation had won the IPL Broadcast Rights Australian cricket in the Indian subcontinent, including Sri Lanka and Pakistan, for the coming next six years for an undisclosed amount.
The statement came out after they lost out to Star India for the IPL Broadcast Rights last month, but Rajesh Kaul, the president of Sony Pictures Networks’s sports and distribution business, believes the failure to land the rights for the highly successful T20 competition was not crucial.
Kaul told Reuters “Disappointed? Yes, because we had nurtured IPL for the last 10 years. We created IPL and made it into the huge brand that it is now”.
He continued with “Yes, we are little bit disappointed but luckily our dependence on IPL is not there today.”
IPL Broadcasting Media is a huge attraction for for sponsors and advertisers, since organisations often plan product launches around major cricket tournaments and book advertising slots in advance in turn leading to a stiff race between broadcasters to secure content.
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Star India, a part of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox, last month won the 2018 auction for IPL Broadcast Rights with a staggering ₹ 16347.5 crore to bag the worldwide television and digital rights of the IPL broadcasting media for the next five years.
Sony Pictures Networks, who had owned the rights for a decade, was the only other bidder for the television rights with 11058 crore but they lost out to Star’s multi-platform offer.
Star India also owns rights to India’s home matches with the dominating amount of $757.6 million for the period from July 2012 to March 2018.
Those rights will be up for bidding soon in the matter of time, which could see another round of intense bidding from the two major organisation in the Indian market of cricket.
“We have not heard anything from any quarter. So no point in reacting to this news as yet. But it’s obvious that we hold sole rights for IPL, which can’t be shared” said a STAR official.
“The angle of national interest comes into effect only when the Indian team plays bilateral matches in India. We do share feed with DD for these matches. But the IPL is a private league for which we have the sole right. It’s difficult to understand why even there is talk of sharing this feed with competitors.”
As for now STAR India have not received any communication on this and in case sharing of feed is made mandatory, they always have the right to call for judicial intervention.
“If DD starts getting revenue from beaming IPL matches, STAR will certainly not agree as it would eat into their share. However, the BCCI will have nothing to do with it” said BCCI sources.
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