ESD is the highest bidder for IPL coverage

ESD is the highest bidder for IPL coverage

Mumbai: Entertainment & Sports Direct (ESD), a sports and entertainment content acquisitions firm, on Thursday emerged as the highest bidder for theatrical rights to all Indian Premier League (IPL) matches for seasons 2010 through 2019.

ESD’s bid of Rs330 crore is subject to approval by the IPL governing council. The only other bid was from Triplecom Media.

The deal will give ESD exclusive exhibition rights for audiences in cinema halls, stadia, ships, buses, trains, armed service establishments, hospitals, bars, hotels, restaurants, airports, railway stations, shopping malls, offices, construction sites, oil rigs, clubs, auditoriums, spas, salons and other similar public venues. IPL’s 2010 season is scheduled to begin 12 March in Hyderabad.

“We believe that this agreement will help us take the IPL action direct to the fans on the large screen," Lalit Modi, IPL’s chairman and commissioner, said in a statement. Arun Rangachari, director, ESD said there were “significant untapped business opportunities" that would be addressed by this association.

ESD, promoted by DAR Capital Group, an investment advisory and private equity firm, is a company focused on sports and entertainment related content acquisition. The company has tied up with UFO Moviez and Valuable Media for theatrical and public exhibition in India and key-global markets. UFO Moviez Ltd is the largest satellite based digital cinema network in the country with over 1700 screens. The move to screen matches in cinemas could be a positive for the theatre business, which typically suffers during the IPL season as movie goers stay away to watch what is largely night-time cricket.