Reliance wins Indian cricket board’s media rights with $721 mln bid

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India’s Reliance Industries - owned Viacom18 won television and digital media rights to the Indian cricket team’s bilateral games for the next five years in a bid worth around 59.63 billion rupees ($721.3 million), the Board of Control for Cricket in India said on Thursday.

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Viacom18, which owns the popular Indian Premier League Twenty-20 (IPL T20) tournament’s digital streaming rights, won BCCI’s media rights for international and domestic matches from September 2023 to March 2028.

The hotly contested media rights were previously held by Disney Plus Hotstar, owned by Walt Disney Co, which is now in the midst of a streaming war with Viacom18’s JioCinema.

Disney did not bid aggressively for BCCI’s media rights as it sees a decline in viewership for such matches and is instead looking to focus on profitability in India, sources told Reuters.

Disney did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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