17:56 06 September 2017
However, it lost the auction to Star India, which won worldwide digital and TV rights after bidding $2.5billion. Star owns popular streaming service Hotstar, which competes with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in India. It also has the rights to stream HBO content like Game of Thrones.
Commenting on the outcome of the auction, Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, said: "It certainly seems like the biggest single bet Facebook has made on video content, which reflects how hard it is to find really popular new sports content out there. Here in the US there are very few new rights available for the most popular sports until about 2021. So if Facebook is serious about sports content it's got to find it elsewhere. And given how many of Facebook's users are in India and other countries where cricket is popular, that's a logical place to spend the money."
"This highlights the challenge of trying to buy just digital rights when other big legacy TV entities are willing to spend lots of money to gain combined rights and companies like Facebook can't compete.”
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