Star India, part of 21st Century Fox, has won the auction to acquire worldwide rights for the Indian Premiere League cricket tournament. It bid $2.55 billion for rights that run for five years from 2018 through 2022.
The previous rights holders was Sony Pictures Network, which had acquired them from the Board of Control for Cricket in India for $1.63 billion, for a nine-year period that ended in 2017.
Bids were in seven categories – India television, India digital, U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Africa and rest of the world. Sony bid $1.7 billion. The Star group made a consolidated bid for all categories.
Defeated bidders this time included: Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, ESPN Digital, Twitter, Sky, Discovery, British Telecom and Reliance Jio.
The IPL is an enormously popular and glamorous tournament that attracts the best players from around the world. Team owners include billionaire Mukesh Ambani and Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Preity Zinta.
Uday Shankar, chairman of Star India,said: “We believe the IPL is a very powerful property, and we believe there is lots more value that can be created for fans of cricket on digital and TV. We would remain committed to ensure the growth of sports in this country continues to be driven by the power of cricket.”