Times Internet wins IPL media rights

India's largest media and entertainment conglomerate, the unlisted Bennett, Coleman & Co. (BCCL), has won internet, mobile, radio and some television rights for the Indian Premier League cricket tournaments for the next four years. Its digital media arm, Times Internet Ltd, will pay 2.616 billion rupees (about $58 million) for the 2011-14 rights, starting with the IPL-4 season that opens in Chennai on April 8. The IPL announced on Sunday that a consortium led by Times Internet - part of the Times of India group, which is ultimately controlled by BCCL and its billionaire owners, Indu Jain and family - was the successful bidder. Another Indian media group, Harish Thawani’s Nimbus Communication, is part of the consortium.
The rights cover internet and mobile worldwide - with a five-minute delay on the Indian sub-continent - and global radio except for the Middle East. The TV rights exclude Australia, South Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Indian sub-continent. Nimbus will handle distribution and broadcast of the various TV rights. Sony Group’s MultiScreen Media (MSM), which owns the SET Max network in India, continues to hold the Indian television rights under a deal it struck with the IPL in January 2008 and renegotiated in 2010. That deal, which started at $US1.026 billion and initially involved the sports marketing agency World Sports Group, is now worth about $US1.6 billion over a 10-year period.