The bidding war for Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) digital streaming rights may get more fierce with Dream Sports-backed FanCode, a sports aggregator platform, having picked up the IPL media rights tender for the next cycle (2023 to 2027), confirmed two people familiar with the development.
Streaming companies such as Amazon Prime and Disney Hotstar have also bought the media rights tender for the IPL, which will be up for bidding on 12 June, according to media reports. However, in its invitation to tender (ITT), the Board of Control for Cricket in India has clarified that merely purchasing the ITT does not entitle any person to bid.
Dream Sports is a sports technology company that also owns Dream Capital, a M&A arm, DreamSetGo, a sports experiences platform, and DreamPay, a payment solutions provider.
It was founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth.
Last year, Dream Sports, which also runs fantasy sports platform Dream11, had invested $50 million in its in-house sports content and commerce platform, FanCode, through the investment arm. FanCode has tie-ups with American leagues such as Major League Basketball, National Football League, and the National Basketball Association, according to the Dream Sports website. It also has tie-ups with FIVB, the West Indies Cricket Board, Bangladesh Premier League, Caribbean Premier League, Bundesliga, and I-League, according to the side. FanCode has 1.5 crore users who have installed its app, it said.
Mint reached out to FanCode and BCCI for comment on purchase of the tender. The company declined to comment. BCCI did not respond till the time of going to press.
The Dream11 parent company had in 2019 launched FanCode, which offers ad-free curated sports content across news, live match scores, and research-based articles. The firm, which is founded by Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan, also live streams some leagues such as the Caribbean Premier League.
“FanCode is an OTT platform that provides a content pipeline. Its parent company already owns Dream11, a fantasy sports platform. If they bid for the digital rights and get it, they can ensure they control the entire match viewing experience end-to-end,” said a person close to the development.
With this, the company can get in-app engagement from the same customer who may be playing the fantasy sport, the person said. It is likely that the company will then use FanCode as a cross-platform to promote its sports related content and also promote Dream11 where users can create their own fantasy leagues and also watch matches at the same time. The company already sells IPL merchandise, which it had obtained rights to last year.
For this block of digital rights for 2023-27 for the IPL, the package for the Indian sub-continent is likely to have a base price of ₹ 33 crore per match or ₹12,210 crore for the period of five years.
For the broadcast rights, the base price for the five-year block is about is ₹49 crore a match or ₹ 32,890 crore for the Indian sub-continent. For the period between 2017-22, Star India had bid for and won the global media rights for IPL for ₹16,347.50 crore. It is said to be in the running again among other contenders such as Sony Pictures Networks India and Reliance-backed Viacom18, which recently launched its sports channel Sports18.