Mumbai: With backing from KKR’s Emerald Media, Streaming service provider YuppTV has jumped in to the race for bidding for the IPL Media rights. On the otherhand broadcaster Discovery Communications armed with its new entrant Sports Channel DSport have bought bid documents for the coming media rights auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket tournament.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) invited bids to award media rights for IPL for 2018 and beyond. However, the process was indefinitely postponed since the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel had not responded to BCCI’s queries regarding the tenders.
However, BCCI reopened the IPL bids on 21st July for both television and digital media rights of IPL for a five-year period from 2018 to 2022. The last date for buying bid documents is 24 August. The bidding process will close on 28th August and results will be announced the same day.
In February 2015, Star India bid Rs 302.2 crore to win the global Internet and mobile rights for IPL for a three-year period, beating Times Internet and Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd (now Sony Pictures Networks).
Both YuppTV and Discovery have shown interest in sports in the recent past.
In May, YuppTV bought exclusive digital rights for the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2017 for Canada and the non-exclusive digital rights for Continental Europe. The deal gave YuppTV users in Canada and Continental Europe, excluding Germany, Switzerland and Austria, access to the tournament. The service has viewers in India, Pakistan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK and West Asia. It offers a premium subscription that includes a pay-per-view option.
In February, Discovery launched a sports channel in India called DSPORT, in bid to widen its portfolio and expand its reach.