Amazon withdraws from race for IPL media rights for 2023-27

Amazon has dropped out of the race to own the media rights to the IPL for the next five years. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the global e-commerce giant is not among the final list of seven bidders participating in Sunday’s online auction to determine who will broadcast one of the most lucrative tournaments in the cricket calendar.

Amazon has been a major player in acquiring lucrative broadcast rights across global sports and was expected to make a strong bid for IPL digital rights packages. In 2021, the company struck a deal worth $1 billion annually (for 10 years) to broadcast only 15 Thursday nights matches in the National Football League in the USA. Their withdrawal would be a blow to the IPL.

It was learned that the decision not to pursue media rights was made by top officers at Amazon in the US and that the IPL was informed on Friday – the deadline for bidders to submit their papers.

With Disney-Star, Sony, Viacom-Reliance, Zee, Fun Asia, Super Sport and Times Internet still running, the number of bidders this time around is exactly half the previous auction figure, when 14 companies competed for the rights to broadcast the IPL from 2018 to 2022. Star India overtook all entrants with a record bid of $2.55 billion in the consolidated global category (TV and digital for India and rest of the world), making it the richest media rights deal in cricket.

This time around, though, the IPL has separated TV and digital rights into their own packages. Package A consists of TV rights to the Indian subcontinent. Package B caters to the digital rights of the Indian subcontinent. Package C contains digital rights to a special set of matches, including qualifiers, for the Indian subcontinent. and package D, television and digital rights to the rest of the world, which are divided into two subcategories: combined ROW or five individual regions.

Auction will begin at 11am IST on Sunday with simultaneous sale of Packages A and B Once the winners are determined, Packages C and D will be up for auction. Also, since there is a half-hour interval between each bid, there is a strong possibility that the auction will extend into the second day.

Each exhibitor can compete in more than one category but will need to list their prices on a per-match basis. For Package A, the base price per match is INR 49 crore (~US$6.3 million). For Package B, it is INR 33 crore (approximately US$4.2 million). For Package C, it is INR 16 crore (~US$2.05 Million). For package D, it is INR 3 crore (US$390,000 approx).

Despite this, the IPL has made one change to the online auction. The winner of Package A can enter a competition with the winner of Package B by submitting 5% more than the highest bid. Originally, this contest was supposed to feature bid increases of at least 5% but is now a head-to-head. There is no minimum bid increment. The same process will be repeated to determine the winners of packages C and D.

You can read more about how the online auction process works if you click here.

ESPNcricinfo and Disney Star are part of The Walt Disney Company. ESPNcricinfo has independently reported this story.

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