Discovery, YuppTV Considering Bids For Indian Premier League Rights
Discovery Communications and Emerald Media-backed OTT operator YuppTV "are the new players who could make a bid" for the Indian Premier League media rights, according to TELEVISION POST. The two companies bought bid documents for the IPL media rights. While Discovery has launched a sports channel, DSport, and "could be looking at TV rights," YuppTV "could eye digital rights." Companies that previously purchased documents "will not have to buy again." The BCCI reopened the IPL bids on July 21 after the earlier process "got cancelled with the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committe refusing to give the BCCI permission to go ahead with it." Discovery "will be interested in the TV rights." It is not clear, though, "whether it will make a serious bid." The company recently hired T.S. Panesar, the former CEO of Hathway Digital's video business, to head DSport in India (TELEVISION POST, 8/9). RAPID TV NEWS' Rebecca Hawkes reported the last IPL mobile and internet rights were won in Feb. '15, when Star India bid over 3B rupees for a three-year period to stream matches on its digital platform, Hotsta. Although YuppTV "has had limited sports content," it recently bought exclusive digital rights for the Int'l Cricket Council Champions Trophy 2017 for Canada and the non-exclusive digital rights for Continental Europe. Sports infrastructure firm TransStadia CEO Hiren Pandit said, "IPL is the highest-viewed sports property. If you're launching into sports online you’d want to start with IPL. I’d imagine companies like Reliance, Discovery, Amazon, Star will bid aggressively" (RAPID TV NEWS, 8/10).