Jeff Bezos and Ambani preparing to win over $7.7 billion Cricket rights

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Bezos and Ambani Set to Fight
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Bezos and Ambani Set to Fight to win over $7.7 billion Cricket rights: Two of the world’s wealthiest men, Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani, are about to duel once more. This time, the battle is over media rights to cricket’s Super Bowl, one of the fastest-growing sporting events in the world, with 600 million spectators and a brand worth about $6 billion.

The billionaires’ firms are expected to be the top two bidders at an Indian Premier League auction on June 12th, which is expected to attract a number of bids for separate five-year telecasting and internet streaming rights in various geographies. According to those acquainted with the situation, the tycoons are drafting aggressive game plans to assure victory. Walt Disney Co., which had the rights until last year’s just-ended season, and Sony Group Corp. are two other formidable contenders.

There’s a lot more on the line for the two first-timers than just a chance to become the most powerful media player in a country of 1.4 billion people. In the former British colony, the English sport has cult-like significance. Both Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and Bezos’s Amazon.com Inc. are wagering that the game will serve as a springboard to their ultimate goal: dominating an increasingly online Indian consumer market.

“The bidding action will be a bet on the India story over the coming decade,” said Karan Taurani, a media analyst at Mumbai-based Elara Capital. “Bidders are putting money on the promise that data-consuming Indians will dictate the fortunes of every business, from retail to banking, and from travel to education.”

According to sources familiar with the situation, Ambani, 65, has been identifying and hiring seasoned leaders for the role since mid-2021. Anil Jayaraj and Gulshan Verma, who helped 21st Century Fox Inc. seal the last acquisition in 2017, are among them.

According to those familiar with the situation, Reliance’s war room also includes Ambani’s loyal lieutenant Manoj Modi and his older son Akash Ambani. A recent partnership with Uday Shankar, the former chief of Fox’s and then Disney’s India and Asia Pacific divisions, will give the team even more strength.

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