Disney Passes on Indian Premier League Cricket Streaming Rights Over High Price

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney bowed out of the bidding on cricket streaming rights for India’s Premier League after prices got high, with Viacom instead getting the rights at a cost of $2.6 billion.

What’s Happening:

  • While they weren’t able to secure streaming rights, Disney’s Star India service did secure the exclusive TV rights package for the 2023-2027 Indian Premier League cricket seasons for a reported $3 billion.
  • Disney Star also has the ProKabaddi League rights, India Super League football rights, as well as other international sports rights, including the Wimbledon Championships and the English Premier League.
  • Viacom18 is a joint venture between Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, Paramount Global and Bodhi Tree Systems, the investment company backed by James Murdoch and Uday Shankar, and is looking to the Indian cricket coverage online to secure an increase in video subscriber sign-ups.

What They’re Saying:

  • Rebecca Campbell, chairman, international content and operations at The Walt Disney Company, said: “We chose not to proceed with the digital rights given the price required to secure that package.”
  • “We made disciplined bids with a focus on long-term value,” Campbell added as Disney, like rival media giants, faces a steep rise in content streaming rights worldwide. The Disney executive added televising Indian cricket matches will enable the studio to showcase and market its own portfolio of TV channels in India, “as well as Disney Star’s impressive collection of local original content, to millions of viewers in India.”
  • Disney isn’t giving up on streaming cricket in the Asian market as it looks to extend other rights deals. “We will be exploring other multiplatform cricket rights, including future rights for International Cricket Council  and Board of Control for Cricket in India, which we currently hold through the 2023 and 2024 seasons, respectively,” Campbell said.
  • “At the same time, we are focused on growing our robust slate of original entertainment content for Disney+ Hotstar and our television channels in the region.”