In a ‘bold’ move to stream the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, Facebook placed a $600 million bid to secure five years’ digital distribution rights for the IPL.
According to a ReCode report on Tuesday, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg was willing to put up that kind of money “is a big, bold declaration that the company will write real cheques in order to get its hands on must-see sports content”
The world’s biggest publisher didn’t win out in a fiercely contested auction, but the move is a sign of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s intent to muscle in on sports rights.
Facebook has a deal to stream college football matches in the United States, but this is Zuckerberg’s first attempt at landing a major sports rights deal.
In February, Facebook was reported to have live streamed all 46 football matches of the top level Mexican football league Liga MX 2017 season. The matches also included the playoffs. Micro-blogging website Twitter is already live streaming a range of sports on its platform.
Twitter also paid the National Football League (NFL) $10 million for the rights to stream some of the league’s Thursday Night Football games.
In November 2016, Twitter launched Android TV app allowing users to stream NFL and other live videos available on its platform.