Facebook Reportedly Bid $600 Million For Broadcast Rights To India's Cricket League

A 2009 IPL match

A 2009 IPL match

Despite being the highest bidder for online rights, it lost out to Twenty-First Century Fox's Star India which bid US$2.55 billion for the streaming and television rights combined.

Star India has plans to launch Hotstar in global markets and the popular T20 tournament could potentially be a lucrative launch property for the firm.

The Indian Premier League's media rights were auctioned off, and while Facebook didn't win them, the social network did bid an amount large enough for it to signal a strong interest in live sports.

As far as Indian cricket is concerned, Star has made its presence felt over this last cycle and in many ways, people have started identifying the brand to be synonymous with Indian cricket which can only bode well for them come the next bid.

And last month, Facebook launched a new video service - Watch - in the U.S. market that would allow users to find live or recorded videos that follow a theme or a storyline.

Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, Liga MX, Conference USA and Mountain West Conference football are among the leagues now with schedules of select live events streaming on Facebook.

Facebook as of last October had reportedly expressed its interest in bidding for the five-year rights deal. The company's CEO also announced earlier this year that the site would attempt to create "anchor content" by buying sports games' licensing rights. In May, Facebook entered an agreement with America's Major Baseball League to live-stream 20 games this season.

Facebook might also eye other big events such as the Olympics or the soccer World Cup, the world's most viewed sports event, Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth said.

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