|| AFP ||
India's cricket board said Tuesday it has sold the broadcast rights of the IPL tournament for the next five seasons to global media giants for an eye-popping $6.2 billion.
Star, owned by US behemoth Disney, bought the TV rights while Viacom18 -- a joint venture between Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani's Reliance and US group Paramount Global -- picked up the streaming rights, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said.
"Since its inception, the IPL has been synonymous with growth & today is a red-letter day for India Cricket, with Brand IPL touching a new high with e-auction resulting in (483.9 billion rupees) value," BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted.
"IPL is now the 2nd most valued sporting league in the world in terms of per match value!" he said, announcing the results of a hotly contested three-day online auction.
Star paid $3.01 billion while Viacom18 shelled out $3.04 billion for the five seasons of the annual two-month contest from 2023 to 2027.
Also sold were the international broadcast rights, split between Viacom18 and the international arm of India's Times Group.
The total amount dwarfs the $2.55 billion that Star paid in 2017 for both digital and TV rights for the previous five seasons to 2022.
Japan's Sony, which televised the IPL for the first 10 years after its inception in 2008, had also been in the race to get a share of the competition, which recently completed its 15th edition.
Jeff Bezos's Amazon, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on rights for European soccer and American football, had earlier reportedly shown interest in the IPL but pulled out.