In one of the recent agreements, the Indian media conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and Sony Pictures Network had decided to enter into a merger deal with Sony acquiring a majority stake.
According to various sources, the Sony-Zee partnership is now reportedly planning to bid for acquiring the media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the 2023-27 cycle.
In a recent interview, Vikas Somani, head of mergers and acquisitions at Zee, said, “Definitely sports is one area which shall be looked upon keenly.
“It will not only widen our target audience, but also enrich our content offerings on digital platforms. With the cash infusion as proposed in the transaction terms, it gives us the firepower to go and bid competitively for these premium sports properties.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had also recently announced that the media rights tender of the IPL for the 2023-27 cycle will be issued in October itself once the induction of two new teams is finalized.
As the countdown for the bid begins, we would be seeing fierce competition between several broadcasting giants who are planning to clinch the media rights for the richest cricket league in the world.
Sony previously held the IPL rights from 2008 to 2017 for the Indian subcontinent. Their rival television broadcaster, Star currently holds the platform-neutral global rights to the IPL from 2018 to 2022 in a deal worth Rs 16,347.5 crore
They would also be seeing some heavy competition from one more serious contender, Viacom18, which is backed by Reliance Industries Ltd.
There are also reports that the American streaming platform, Amazon Prime Video is also planning to bid for the media rights.
We are set to witness an intense fight between these media giants in the upcoming bidding war for the media rights of the IPL.