The IPL could be available for legal live streaming on social media come 2018 with Facebook and Twitter preparing to bid for the IPL broadcasting rights for 2018-2022 editions. Amazon, Reliance Jio, Sony and ESPN are the other big guns who have joined the bidding race as of Tuesday.
In August 2016, footballer Wayne Rooney’s testimonial match between Manchester United and Everton was available on Facebook Live. During this, fans watching the match could chat with other fans, send greetings to the player and learn how to donate to his foundation. This could be the viewing experience for the IPL fans worldwide starting from 2018, as Facebook Inc. readies a bid for the broadcasting rights for the 2018-2022 editions of the IPL.
“We’ve seen great results when we’ve streamed games live, and continue to be interested in testing the viability of this content on Facebook,” said a company spokesperson, reported livemint.
Rival social media company Twitter have also joined the race for the broadcasting rights of the IPL. Twitter have already acquired the rights to live stream USA's most viewed tournament, the NFL, starting from October 21, 2016.
Twitter India chief Aneesh Madani said that IPL and Twitter are driven by innovation resulting in the IPL becoming the fastest growing global sports league on their platform in the past few years.
“Sports and Twitter are made for each other. Nine out of 10 Twitter users in India are fans of cricket and sports is right up there as a conversation driver. It’s also among the fastest growing. There were 5.75 billion impressions of Tweets related to the ICC World T20 in 2016 and 10.6 million Tweets related to the IPL in 2016, a 56% increase over 2015. Fans love watching sports with Twitter and Tweeting about it,” Madani said.
Apart from these two corporate bigwigs, the BCCI has received an overwhelming response for the bidding process. E-commerce giants Amazon, telecommunications company Reliance Jio, Sky sports, and Sony Pictures are some of the A-listers who have joined the race.
The bidding process will take place on October 25, 2016 under the supervision of the BCCI.