What was already a clash of media titans for the broadcast rights to one of the world’s most popular sports leagues may see another giant enter the fray.
Alphabet is reportedly considering a bid for rights to the Indian Premier League, per Bloomberg.
The Google parent reportedly purchased documents needed to explore a bid from the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Google owns streaming and video platform YouTube.
The IPL saw 600 million people tune in last year, according to the BCCI, placing it third in global reach among sports leagues behind the NFL and English Premier League.
Other interested parties include:
- Disney, which currently holds the rights through its subsidiary Star India on a $2.5 billion deal, from 2018-2022
- Reliance Industries
- Sony and Zee Entertainment – Sony purchased a 53% stake in Zee last year
- Fantasy sports platform Dream11
- South Africa-based television network SuperSport, which also reportedly purchased documents
From India to Irvine
While cricket has largely been an afterthought in the U.S., there are signs it is gaining a foothold.
Major League Cricket, a U.S.-based league, will launch in 2023. Plans are underway to build a 10,000-capacity cricket-dedicated stadium in Irvine, California, led by a $30 million investment from the Knight Riders Group.
MLC could build or renovate up to eight U.S. facilities in the coming years.