Digital may be the future of live sporting events

first_imgPublished on ipl COMMENT SHARE 2/2 SHARE SHARE EMAIL September 05, 2017 digital-live-sports × RELATED ipl advertising Social media is fuelling the growth in IPL making it one of the fastest growing sports leagues on Twitter 1/2 digital-live-sports With ₹16,000-cr bid, Star India hooks global rights to beam IPL cricket Dark horses like Facebook, YuppTv, Reliance Jio, Airtel Jio, and Times Internet were among the key bidders for the digital and overseas rights of the Indian Premier League. Sectoral experts pointed out that digital players in the bidding fray signifies the future direction of eyeballs even in live sporting events.Interestingly, Facebook was the third highest bidder in the digital category with a bid of Rs 3,900 crore. Bharti Airtel’s bid stood at Rs 3,280 crore, while Reliance Jio bid for the digital rights was at Rs 3075.72 crore. Times Internet tabled a bid of Rs 1,787.50 crore.Star India had paid around Rs 303 crore for three-year digital rights in 2015. If the current bids are anything to go by, it signifies a huge percentile jump for the digital bandwagon.According to industry watchers, a truncated right (2018-2022) from a previously ten-year period also signifies that even the world’s richest cricketing board BCCI is watching the digital canvas carefully even though monetisation of digital platform still remains a long-rope game.“The digital market is growing very rapidly. The increase in bandwidth and connectivity for all the major digital players have also helped. IPL is a catalyst for the growth of their business,” BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said while acknowledging the growing significance of digital platforms.Out of the 24 companies that had picked the invitation to iender (ITT) to bid for the broadcast and digital rights, only 14 were present in Mumbai on Monday.Uday Reddy, CEO, Yupp TV, an Atlanta headquartered OTT player, which also marked its maiden entry into the IPL media rights bidding, said: “We were bidding for the overseas rights for markets such as US and the Middle East where we follow a subscription model. Digital is where the growth is and we see the switch happening soon in the Indian market too.”The industry sources said that big players like Twitter and Amazon opted out as a “strategic” business decision.“Most industry players realise that digital is the fastest growing segment. Companies want to invest in scaling up their offerings,“ said Varun Gupta, Duff & Phelps Managing Director.Duff & Phelps in its recent report had pointed that social media is fuelling the growth in IPL making it one of the fastest growing sports leagues on Twitter with 4.9 million followers and adding over 1.8 million fans on Facebook during the most recent season.He said that IPL’s viewership both in digital and linear was growing even in rural areas. “We expect companies in the digital space to monetise from the digital platforms sooner.”Duff & Phelps said that sporting enthusiasts are able to catch-up on the live matches on their mobile phones thanks to OTT players.It pointed that Hotstar, which had previously won the three-year digital broadcasting rights for IPL in 2015, had seen a massive spike in viewership with 41 million viewers in 2015, 100 million in 2016, and is expected to have reached a 130 million mark in 2017.Interestingly, the average time spent per user for an IPL match on Hotstar is 40–45 minutes, up from 30-35 minutes during IPL 9, which is on par with Sony’s average viewership of around 45 minutes per user.”Cricket is still an amazing experience in India, and we look only at that factor. Our view was that we would be able to create a complete experience for fans. Indian consumers have surprised everybody in the world, as the aggressive bid for the digital rights would suggest. It can become a lot more exciting depending on data prices. India can be one of the hottest digital markets,” Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, said.ESPN Digital Media, Discovery, Gulf DTH, Sky Uk Ltd, Amazon, Media India, BTG Legal Services, Taj TV, BTPLC, Twitter, Group M — all part of the initial 24 to pick the ITT — did not submit bids. COMMENTSlast_img

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