Big TV, the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Amabni Group’s soon-to-be-launched direct-to-home (DTH) venture, has bagged the official DTH partnership for the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s Twenty20 cricket tournament, for a bid of $31.16 million (about Rs 137 crore) for the next four years.
According to industry sources, Big TV outbid the only other contender, Airtel Digital TV, the Bharti group’s DTH service. Airtel Digital TV, which is also expected to be launched soon, had put in a bid of $30.28 million for the same number of years.
Reliance Entertainment President Rajesh Sawhney said in a statement: “We at Big TV are excited at being chosen the DTH partner of the DLF IPL. As an official partner of this premier event, Big TV will play its role in the enhancement of the league and in the process add to its own business and public profile.” Bharti Airtel, however, declined to comment on the issue.
The tender for the DTH partner was made public today. Under the terms, Big TV will be contributing Rs 34.27 crore a year as a part of its commitment to IPL as the official DTH partner. IPL had signed up the likes of Pepsi and Kingfisher Airlines as the official beverage and airline partners respectively. The league had also roped in Hero Honda, Citibank, ITC Welcomgroup and Vodafone as other official partners .