Friday, July 28, 2017

IPL 2018-2022 "Winner's Curse" SWOT Analysis and Forecast

Well now that we know that in all likelihood, the next IPL bidding is going to turn into a winner's curse, let us look at the SWOT analysis of some of the key stakeholders bidding for the broadcasting rights

As of now, 18 bidders have been reported for the broadcasting rights

1. STAR India
2. Amazon
3. FollowOn Interactive Media
4. Sony Pictures Network
5. Times Internet
6. SuperSport International (Pty) Ltd
7. Reliance Jio Digital
8. Gulf DTH FZ LLC
9. GroupM Media
10.beIN IP
11. Econet Media
12. SKY UK
13. ESPN Digital Media
14. BTG Legal Services
15. BT PLC
16. Twitter Inc
17. Facebook Inc
18. Taj TV India

This article and the next two will discuss the SWOT analysis of these players

1. STAR India
Well they already have the digital broadcasting rights for a lot of tournaments and the company is currently a market leader when it comes to content for sports on Indian TV. Hotstar is definitely a rockstar right now when it comes to digital content and consumer delight. Let us not forget that STAR was the front-runner in the previous bidding session as well. The company rightly made a conditional bid to BCCI and BCCI decided to shelve this bid as BCCI wanted unconditional bids.

SWOT: The group has already done the IPL in digital format. The team has covered a lot of sports globally and has a lion's share as far as BCCI broadcasting rights are concerned. However, the IPL is different. STAR India / Hotstar CANNOT go solo on this. And this will be true for most players in the bidding.

Odds of Winning: 25% (solo) / 80% with Jio

2. Amazon (Probably bidding only for digital)
Amazon, has made the bold statement of its intent with the television series Inside Edge on Amazon Prime. One of the best Roman a Clef genre content on Indian TV ever so far - it was a fantastic signal to all stakeholders "We are serious about getting in and we are aware of the dirt that comes along with it!"
Although late to enter the Indian mobile tv turf, it has swept all incumbent players off charts. Amazon Prime has features like fast forward as well (compared with only rewind for Hotstar) and charges much lower 499 annually compared to 199 monthly with Hotstar. IMDB is its subsidiary. What is good about Amazon's approach is that it has a collaborative outlook with studios, directors, producers etc. There is a lot of data mining required to do when it comes to targeted advertising on digital space and Amazon is second only to Google when it comes to that.

Odds of Winning: 50% (solo) / 95% with Jio / 100% with a 3 way match Sony-Amazon Prime-Jio

3. Sony
Let us not forget that this company still has the first right of refusal and the network will try very hard to keep it that way. Unfortunately, it did not win the digital rights earlier and digital as it turns out is not Sony's cup of tea. In fact most of Sony's movies also go through Jio or Amazon Prime. Last but not the least, IPL is the only major cash cow that Sony has.

Odds of Winning 50% (solo) / 95% with Jio /100% with a 3 way match Sony-Amazon Prime-Jio

4. Jio
Jio has been doling out good things with each passing day and wants to capture as much of telecom and digital space it can. It has the financial muscle to see this through. To cut the long story short, Jio has the infrastructure and network but perhaps not the capabilities when it comes to broadcasting. Mumbai Indians being one of the teams can also create a conflict of interest

Facebook, Twitter and all the others will have the same thing. According to me, Amazon Prime and Jio will have a major role to play as far as the next set of IPL broadcasting rights go. For the advertising revenues, you need more and more of reach and Jio can make that possible. Analytics will also play a major role and Amazon can make that happen. When it comes to actual backend for operations and logistics of coverage, both STAR and Sony have the capabilities though STAR has the edge over Sony.

My forecast: HOTSTAR+Jio 40%
Sony+Amazon Prime+Jio 60%

Let's watch out how this plays out.