Amazon won't bid for IPL telecast rights

Amazon won't bid for IPL telecast rights
Smartphone with Amazon logo is seen in front of the displayed Indian national flag. File photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

US tech behemoth Amazon will not bid for rights to telecast the Indian Premier League (IPL), projected to be worth more than Rs 500 billion ($6.4 billion), a source with knowledge of the company's plans said on Friday.

The decision comes just two days ahead of the bidding for the television and digital broadcast rights of the hugely popular IPL, a two-month T20 cricket tournament that usually takes place every April and May.

Amazon had decided not to participate in the bidding as the company did not find it a viable option for growth in India, said the source, who sought anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to media on the issue.

A representative of online streaming platform Amazon Prime Video did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The withdrawal leaves an open field for rivals such as Reliance Industries, which will bid through its broadcasting joint venture Viacom 18, Disney Plus Hotstar, and the India unit of Sony Corp when bidding takes place on Sunday.

Disney-owned Star India, which is one of the country's top broadcasters, along with Sony and its planned acquisition Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, paid 163.48 billion rupees ($2.1 billion) for the rights until 2022.

IPL bidding rights are seen as key to growth in India's booming online streaming market.

It is to them that analysts attribute Disney's huge lead over rivals in the cricket-mad subcontinent, luring more than 50 million paid subscribers to its platform, Disney Plus Hotstar.

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