Facebook (FB) submitted a 5-year $610 million bid for the rights to stream the India Premier League. While Rupert Murdoch’s Star India (FOXA) ultimately won the bidding process, with a $2.55 billion bid (to broadcast and stream), it’s Mark Zuckerberg’s most aggressive offer for live sports content to date. Facebook was the only Silicon Valley company to place a bid on the two-month long tournament, that draws 185 million worldwide.
Howie Long-Short: NFL streaming rights have always gone to a traditional phone company. That may change in 2019 though, as companies who wish to distribute media on mobile devices are likely to get into the bidding process. That’s great news for NFL team owners, who are currently receiving $1 billion over 4 years from Verizon.
Fan Marino: 185.7 million people watched the first 3 matches of the IPL season, roughly 8.5x the audience the Patriots/Chiefs season opener did last Thursday night. No wonder Facebook wanted that property!