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Rupert Murdoch's Cricket Bet: $2.6 Billion

Rupert Murdoch's Cricket Bet: $2.6 Billion

Rupert Murdoch looks on prior to Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 September 2017 09:25 AM

Rupert Murdoch's big cricket bet in India comes at a price tag of $2.6 billion after his Star India group won the global television and digital rights to the country's Indian Premier League for the next five years.

Cricket is India's most popular sport and its value to media outlets has jumped in recent years, CNN reported. More than 1.3 billion watched the cricket matches via television last year, the Broadcast Audience Research Council India, reported, per CNN.

Sony paid $1 billion for the rights to cover the IPL season which lasts just two months, 10 years ago and had bid $1.7 billion to keep the rights this year. Facebook offered $600 million for digital rights, CNN said.

"We are honored to be selected as IPL's global media rights partner and we thank BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) for conducting such a transparent process," Uday Shankar, chairman and chief executive, which is owned by 20th Century Fox, said in a statement.

"VIVO Indian Premier League is undoubtedly one of the most exciting sporting leagues in the world and this acquisition of media rights reaffirms our commitment to serve cricket fans and make cricket even bigger than it is. We are delighted that in Star, IPL has found its natural home," Shankar continued.

The BBC News reported that 14 companies made bids for various elements of the rights but Star India's consolidated offer was good enough to best all comers. The league began play in 2008 with the Mumbai Indians winning the championship in 2017, per the BBC News.

In June, it was announced that mobile phone manufacturer VIVO had won a bid to retain the league's title name sponsorship for $407.2 million, some 554 percent more than the previous contract, the Times of India reported.

"I would like to thank cricketers and franchises for making the league one of the eminent sporting leagues in the world," C.K. Khanna, acting president of the BCCI, said in the Star India statement. "I would also like to thank all the fans for showing their continuous support for the VIVO IPL for the last 10 years."

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Rupert Murdoch's big cricket bet in India comes at a price tag of $2.6 billion after his Star India group won the global television and digital rights to the country's Indian Premier League for the next five years.
rupert murdoch, cricket, bet, india
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2017-25-05
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 09:25 AM
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