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IPL Games Will Stream for Free Under $2.7B Rights Deal

  • Viacom18 is reportedly set to offer IPL games for free.
  • The venture purchased streaming rights for $2.7 billion last year.
A batter for the Kolkata Knight Riders hits the ball against the Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League.
IPL

Viacom18 is banking on advertising sales to bring in revenue as it streams the “Super Bowl of Cricket” for free. 

The joint venture between Paramount Global and Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries beat out Disney and Sony to purchase Indian Premier League rights for $2.7 billion last year. 

Disney, which won the IPL’s TV rights for $3 billion over the next five years, previously carried TV and streaming rights through Disney+ Hotstar. The Board of Control for Cricket in India sold the rights separately for the first time in 2022. 

Viacom18’s move to stream games for free — any amount of games for any length of time — hasn’t been announced. Bloomberg reported that the company is trying to offer games to as many people as possible to generate advertising sales.

Company executives have predicted that more than 550 million people will tune into the IPL games, which start on March 31 and last nearly eight weeks.

Women’s Competition 

Viacom18 also recently purchased media rights to the new Women’s Premier League for $117 million over the next five years — before the new league’s teams were even announced.

The BCCI generated roughly $572.7 million from sales of the teams.

“I believe that with a record media valuation earlier and now these high bids, the league will be a commercially independent and self-sustaining property,” said cricket board secretary Jay Shah.

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