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Facebook bets for rights to stream India’s most popular sport

Image: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook may have a lot of money, but it doesn’t always win bets. 

The world’s largest social network failed to win the exclusive rights to stream five cricket games from The Indian Premiere League, the IPL revealed Sunday. Facebook offered up about $610 million and lost out to 21st Century Fox’s Star India bid of $2.5 billion.

Even though it lost, the bid shows just how ambitious Facebook’s live video—particularly for sports—operation is becoming. The multibillion dollar company is willing to hand over millions for digital streaming rights, and it’s clearly looking at international sports. 

A tweet from IPL publicly discloses all the companies that bet on the media rights. 

While cricket may not be popular in the United States, it’s the top sport in India where Facebook has one of its largest user bases. Facebook has 182.9 million active users in India, according to eMarketer estimates

But the industry for streaming rights remains extremely competitive. Not only is Facebook competing with other digital-only players like Google, Twitter, Netflix, and Hulu, it is also up against traditional networks like 21st Century Fox, which won these rights.

Facebook has successfully bought the rights for other live events, including sports, as it beefs up the content highlighted in its new video tab called Watch. This year, Facebook will broadcast 15 college football games and 46 games from Mexico’s top soccer league Liga MX

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/05/facebook-cricket-indian-premiere-league-streaming-rights/

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