Sony-Zee merger to bid for IPL 2023-27 broadcasting rights

The Indian Premier League is regarded as one of the most popular sporting events not just in India but also throughout the world. The media behemoths are always first in line to secure the event’s broadcasting rights. According to recent speculations, Sony and Zee Entertainment will apply for IPL broadcasting rights from 2023 to 2027 as part of their merger.

It should be emphasised that Walt Disney presently holds the broadcasting rights to the IPL, making the incoming bidders a formidable adversary. Walt Disney controls Star, the Indian media conglomerate that was previously the only owner of IPL television rights. Other potential bidders include Facebook (who attempted to buy in 2017), Amazon, and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance.

Sports is undoubtedly an area that will be closely scrutinised. According to the Financial Times, Zee’s head of mergers and acquisitions, Vikas Somani, said, “It would not only broaden our target demographic but also expand our content offerings on digital platforms.”

By the end of this month, the BCCI will issue a tender for the media rights. Because the IPL’s viewership has always been on the rise, media behemoths will come out with expensive bids to secure the rights in whatever way they can. The combination of Sony and Zee was announced just a few weeks ago.

With 75 news channels across diverse genres and 10 languages, the two companies will become India’s largest market holder, with a 27 percent stake. At this time, their market share of 27 percent will surpass Disney’s Star India, which has a market share of 24 percent.

“The cash infusion provided in the acquisition terms provides us with the firepower to go out and compete for these premium sports properties. It’s a significant transaction at a vital time in India’s migration from television to digital and sports are a tremendous, huge part of that,” a source close to the situation stated.