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Dream Sports-backed Fancode Picks Up Digital Rights Tender For Ipl

NEW DELHI :

The bidding war for Indian Premier League’s digital streaming rights may just 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. As per media reports, streaming companies like Amazon Prime and Disney Hotstar have also bought the media rights tender for the IPL which will be up for bids on June 12. However, in its invitation to tender (ITT), Board of Control for Cricket in India clarifies that merely purchasing the ITT does not entitle any person to bid.

Dream Sports is a sports technology company which 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, that also runs fantasy sports platform Dream11, had invested $50 million in its own in-house sports content and commerce platform FanCode through the investment arm. Currently FanCode — as per Dream Sports’ website — has associations with  American leagues like Major League Basketball, National Football League and the National Basketball Association. It also has tie ups with FIVB; the West Indies Cricket Board; Bangladesh Premier League; Caribbean Premier League and Bundesliga and I-League. The site claims FanCode has 1.5 crore users who have installed its app. 

Mint reached out to FanCode and the BCCI for comment on purchase of the tender. The company declined to comment. BCCI did not respond till time of press. 

It was in 2019 that the Dream11 parent company had launched FanCode which offers ad-free curated sports content across news, live match scores, research-based articles etc. The firm is founded by Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan. It also live streams some leagues like 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. 

The person added that with this, the company can get in-app engagement from the same customer who may be playing the fantasy sport. It is likely that the company will then use FanCode as a cross-platform to promote its own 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 also 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  ₹ 32890 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.

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