According to various sources, the Reliance-backed entertainment network had been in the race for acquiring the media rights of the World Cup for quite some time. The new reports suggest that Viacom18 has been able to do so by bidding higher than Sony, Star, and the other bidders in the race.
Viacom18 acquiring the rights of the FIFA World Cup has been considered quite a smart move. This is the first time an Arab state will be hosting the football World Cup. An Asian country hosting the World Cup will be highly profitable as India is just 2 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Qatar, without much time difference, the Mukesh Ambani-backed organization can cater to a larger audience from the Indian subcontinent.
They’ll also be able to leverage on getting various sponsorships and brand deals ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
According to various sources, Viacom18 Media had also received fresh TV channel licenses from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). It’s likely that Viacom18 will soon be launching its own new sports channel and could broadcast the FIFA World Cup on it.
Additionally, they would also gain from the stronghold that they have on the OTT platforms such as Jio TV and Voot, which will help them to attract the younger audience.
Recently, Reliance acquired the media rights of the major football competitions for the Indian subcontinent, which will see the traction of the Indian audience in huge numbers.
The ongoing season of La Liga which made its debut on MTV, a channel owned by Viacom 18, on August 14, has been witnessing incredible response on TV. During its first week, the football competition registered 3X reach on MTV than the previous La Liga season. The average time spent per viewer (TSV) for the opening weekend was 7X bigger than the last season on TV.
These figures suggest that Viacom18, with the additional acquisition of the FIFA World Cup, will be seen changing the broadcasting landscape in India very soon.