Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate is reportedly all set to stream IPL for free. Leading the broadcasting game in the Indian market, IPL’s free streaming may reportedly pose a big challenge to Walt Disney Co. and Amazon.com Inc. at a time when the country’s media space is constantly expanding.
According to a Bloomberg report, Viacom18 Media Pvt., the joint venture between Paramount Capital and Reliance Industries Ltd., licensed the IPL streaming rights last year. After paying a whopping $2.7 billion, the media house took those rights away from Disney+ Hotstar, platform that previously owned them.
Since the move has not been announced publicly yet, the publication quoted sources as saying, “Viacom18 is taking a different approach, offering the games to as many people as possible in order to generate advertising sales.”
In addition to the free IPL streaming move, some Viacom18 executives have also reportedly estimated that an audience in excess of 550 million will watch the weeks-long IPL 2023. This will then also help boost the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate’s “technology and internet ambitions.”
Last year, when several media companies fought for IPL streaming rights to boost their business, the cost of cricket rights reportedly zoomed. While Viacom18 won the streaming rights, Disney lost the auction but got the TV broadcast rights. As per the report, Viacom18 will now “allow users to watch any number of games for any length time on any internet-connected device.”
Alongside this, the Tata Group is the title sponsor for IPL 2023, just like last year. Interestingly, as the game season nears, the group has also won the title sponsor rights for Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023.