Viacom 18 secures Indian domestic cricket rights in $721 million deal

Mukesh Ambani-backed media group Viacom 18 has seen off competition from Disney Star and Sony Pictures Network India to secure the TV and digital rights for Indian domestic cricket. The five-year deal commences immediately and cost $721m.

Viacom18, which is 13% owned by Paramount Global, has secured 88 matches in total – which values each fixture at around $8m. The plan is to show games via streaming platform JioCinema and broadcast outlet Sports18.

The move is the latest in a series of major cricketing investments by Viacom18. Last year, the company paid $3 billion for digital rights to the Indian Premier League (with Disney Star securing the TV rights). More recently the company acquired the rights to the first ever Women’s Indian Premier League (2023-2027, $116 million).

Commenting on the deal, BCCI president Roger Binny said the auction for the rights “has unequivocally demonstrated the vigour of cricket in India. The remarkable journey of Indian cricket, its meteoric rise on the global sporting arena, owes its success to the unwavering trust that people have vested in the BCCI leadership and its dedicated workforce. With the staunch support and collaboration of every stakeholder within our cricketing ecosystem, I am confident that we will continue to propel the brand BCCI to uncharted territories on the global sports stage.”

BCCI secretary Jay Shah added: “BCCI remains deeply committed to nurturing sports development in India through the medium of cricket. The revenue generated from media rights is an essential catalyst for nurturing grassroots cricket.”

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