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Help Google wants more of IPL
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[Image: ipl_new_3101_f.jpg]

Source: DNA | Last Updated 13:56(19/11/10)

Mumbai:Internet giant Google could further diversify into cricket.

The company, which owns the world’s most popular search engine, is believed to be interested in holding the global mobile and internet rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL). What’s more, it seems to be interested even in the global television rights of the Twenty20 extravaganza.

According to sources in the IPL governing council, the US firm has approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), showing keen interest in these properties of the IPL.

The discussion at the GC meeting here on Wednesday veered around Google’s expression of interest. One GC official even went to the extent of saying that the Board has got an impression that the revenue from the three sources could be much more than what it currently gets.

For the record, Google has a two-year deal with the IPL for live steaming via YouTube. The deal, struck last year, was hailed by former IPL chairman Lalit Modi as a game-changer in cricket broadcasting. Asked specifically if Google has expressed interest in global television rights as well, the GC member said that is his understanding.

When contacted, a Google official refused to comment.

The BCCI, however, will not go for a direct deal with the company. The board will float tenders for these rights and Google will have to bid for it. It is understood that Google will most likely make a bid for these rights.

These mobile, television and internet rights came up for sale after the BCCI terminated the existing contracts after revelations of discrepancies in the deals signed during Modi’s regime.

The BCCI is expected to float tenders after the Bombay high court hearing of the case filed by WSG challenging the termination of its contract. The case is expected to come up for hearing in the next few days.

WSG was previously holding the global television rights of the IPL. Global Cricket Ventures, allegedly linked to Modi’s step son-in-law Gaurav Burman, who had bagged the digital and mobile rights of the league.

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