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Can Viacom 18 sporting ambitions change the face of Indian Sports | From clinching IPL digital rights to its mega associations

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Recently, Viacom 18 has secured a humongous deal as they clinched the digital rights to stream the next IPL. It was India’s biggest sports and media telecast deal ever. With this IPL became the world’s 2nd most valuable sports tournament. According to the experts every single ball bowled in next season of IPL will have value of around 43 lacks.

BCCI is a not even a private limited company but a private organization and shares cannot be directly acquired from them. Moreover, buying shares of the actual teams was itself challenging. The shares of Chennai Super Kings could be bought from the grey market, which is an underground but not illegal market for buying shares. But it is all the way more complicated as one cannot just simply purchase shares using their favorite stock market app. 

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There was still a remaining option of buying shares in the US-based Walt Disney but again no one was interested in opening an investment account in the US for the sake of shares. However, 5 years ago it was Walt Disney that brought IPL to digital platforms and television too. 

Viacom 18: New broadcaster of IPL

Viacom18 has secured the digital rights to stream the IPL from 2023 to 2028. It is a homegrown media company that became fortunate with time and sheer hard work. Now for the upcoming 5 years, you can easily bet on IPL by owning Viacom18. It is time to switch from Hotstar to voot for streaming IPL.

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Viacom18 has been investing Rs. 24,000 crores for 2 months every year on streaming to make your watching experience a memorable ride. TV subscribers will have to tune in to Star as Disney bagged the privilege and paid Rs.23,500 crores for attaining the rights. However, the investment amount is immoral as Star bought the digital and TV rights for Rs.16,300 crores five years back in the 2017 auction, which was an enormous sum at that time. Over the 5 years, the fee has exploded 3 times, higher than the initial fee and it has summed up to Rs.48,400 crores. 

IPL and its growing legacy

Image Source- The Indian Express

It is fascinating to note that IPL is just 15 years old but has bagged colossal achievements within such a short period. It has entered the mega-leagues of sports championships that are supported and admired worldwide. Now that IPL has been granted broadcasting rights, it has become the second most valuable in the world after National Football League (NFL) in the US at Rs.136 crores per year. The third place is bagged by none other than English Premier League (EPL) at Rs.82 crores per game. 

Viacom 18 and Mega Associations 

Viacom 18- KreedOn
Image Source- equitybulls.com
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It is unknown to many that Viacom18 is backed up by Reliance Industries which indirectly owns 51% of the media company. Besides, Viacom18 is also backed up by Bodhi Tree Systems, who aided the company in April this year with an amount of Rs.13,500 crores. 

What is more surprising is that Viacom did not run after the TV rights. However, it also launched Sports18 in April for sports fans to relish their favorite tournaments. Recently, it was reported that the television subscription revenue has had a downfall by 6% in 2021 whereas the digital platform has grown by 29%. 

Viacom 18: The money-spinner 

According to a media report, advertisers spend as much as ₹18 lakhs for just a 10-second ad spot during the IPL. This would be for the prominent games such as the final of the tournament. For instance, let us assume a conservative estimate of ₹14 lakhs per ad spot. There is a total ad inventory of around 2,300 seconds in a match, which implies that a broadcaster stands a chance to make around ₹32 crores from these advertisements per game.

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The tournament spreads across 84 games that benefit the broadcaster who will probably be able to net close to ₹2,700 crores for one year and or approximately ₹13,500 crores for the 5-year contract only when the ad rates stay the same throughout. 

Subsequently, people will also subscribe to voot in large numbers to enjoy the game, which will be beneficial for Viacom18. It is however very tough to earn money and Viacom 18 has some work to do before the next IPL game. They need to put on a mighty show for the viewers to grab their attention and interest. Improvising their technical skills will also help to create a smooth and glorifying watching experience for the audience other than falling flat. The cost per match is expected to rise to Rs.63,000 crores and beyond in the upcoming years. 


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