The TV18 share fell over 4% on Thursday after Viacom18, a joint venture between billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Network18 and Paramount Global, secured the digital rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL), a mega Twenty20 cricket league. Viacom18 has acquired the non-exclusive rights to digitally stream 18 matches in every season of IPL in the Indian sub-continent for the seasons starting from 2023 to 2027.

Reacting to the news, shares of TV18 Broadcast, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries-owned media firm Network18, opened higher at ₹41.25, against the previous closing price of ₹40.55 on the BSE. Paring opening gains, the stock declined as much as 4.4% to hit an intraday low of ₹38.75.

On the volume front, 9.62 lakh shares changed hands over the counter as compared to the two-week average volume of 16.53 lakh stocks. The market capitalisation of the company dropped to ₹6,694.58 crore, with a turnover of ₹3.85 crore during the session so far.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex was trading at 52,244 levels, down 297 points, or 0.57%, at the time of reporting.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has raised a record ₹48,390 crore by auctioning media rights for 410 matches of the IPL for the period 2023-27, with digital rights exceeding TV rights for the first time. While DisneyStar has retained the IPL TV rights for the Indian subcontinent for ₹23,575 crore, digital rights went to Viacom 18 for ₹23,758 crore.

TV18 in an exchange filing on Wednesday said Viacom18 has acquired the rights to digitally stream IPL matches in the Indian sub-continent for the seasons from 2023 to 2027. It has also won the India digital rights for a special package of 18 games in every season. Globally, Viacom18 has won television as well as digital rights in three out of five international territories, including Australia, South Africa, and the UK.

“This will be an exceptional opportunity for advertisers to reach a larger, younger, more relevant and highly-engaged audience. The targeting opportunities because of Viacom18’s strategic partnership with Jio will be unparalleled,” says TV18, a broadcasting arm of Reliance group.

As per the filing, Viacom18 outbid reputed broadcasters and digital companies to establish itself as a leading digital media, entertainment and sports destination. With these IPL rights, Viacom18 will be able to take India’s biggest sporting event to every nook and corner of the country. It will make IPL available to every Indian in every part of India, including the 60 million FreeDish homes which today are not able to access this popular content, it added.

Nita Ambani, director, Reliance Industries, says, “Sports entertain us, inspire us and bring us together. Cricket and IPL personify the best of sport and the best of India, which is why we are proud to be deepening our association with this great game and this wonderful league. Just like with everything we do, our mission is to take the joyful experience of IPL to cricket fans wherever they are - in every part of our country and around the world.”

In April, Reliance Industries and Viacom18 entered into a strategic partnership with Bodhi Tree Systems, a platform of James Murdoch's Lupa Systems and Uday Shankar, to set up one of the largest TV and digital streaming companies in India.

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