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Ups and downs of sports broadcast rights in Asia

Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani, said to be Asia’s richest man, is bringing together a consortium to bid for the TV broadcast rights to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

Mr Ambani aims to outbid entertainment giants Disney, which holds the rights, Amazon and Sony. Reports say the winning bid could be more than US$5 billion.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India will allocate the rights for five years starting next year. A winner is likely to be announced around the end of March or early April.

Meanwhile the Turkish Football Federation has cancelled the tender for rights to broadcast all the country’s top-tier matches next season after saying the bids were too low.

Reports say the top bid of $150 million, from current rights holders BeIN Media Group, based in Qatar, and Digiturk, a Turkish pay-TV operator, was far lower than last year.

Turkey’s top clubs depend on income from the broadcast rights to stay profitable and could face hardship unless the issue is resolved.