South African cricket lovers may need to seek alternative options for viewing the Indian Premier League (IPL) following the loss of broadcasting rights by SuperSport.

The IPL media rights tender had four packages, including TV rights for the Indian subcontinent, digital rights for the Indian subcontinent, non-exclusive digital rights, and rest of the world (ROW) TV and digital rights. Package B rights winners would also have the first right to refusal over Package C rights.

Last year, Bloomberg reported that SuperSport faced tough competition for IPL rights as big global players like Alphabet Inc. expressed interest in bidding for broadcast rights. Ultimately, the rest of the world rights were divided between Viacom 18 and Times Internet Ltd. Viacom18 had the highest bid for three of the five global territories (sub-Sahara, Europe and South East Asia & Oceania), the Times group was awarded the remaining two territories (Middle East and US) as well as the digital rights.

However, South African viewers may have a solution. Viacom has previously shown a willingness to collaborate with other broadcasters through what is known as a “hard bundle.” According to independent TV critic, writer and journalist, Thinus Ferreira, the South African launch of Viacom owned Paramount+ is imminent. “”The South African launch of Paramount+ will be as a stand-alone app and through connected TV sets, but will very likely also be in partnership with the MultiChoice Group, which has existing deals to carry Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as apps on its DStv Explora Ultra decoder“”, he wrote.

Paramount already has so-called “hard bundle” deals in place with pay-TV operators like Comcast’s Sky in the United Kingdom carrying Paramount+, and Sky Showtime as a joint venture in Europe with Comcast and Vivendi’s Canal+. In November last year, Viacom18 announced a seven-year partnership with Cricket South Africa (CSA) for exclusive digital and TV rights for all international cricket, from 2024-2031 as well as an agreement to broadcast the SA 20 League for the next ten years in India.

SuperSport is expected to announce their plans this afternoon, shedding light on the way forward. However, it is anticipated that the only way for viewers to access the IPL may be to stream it.

This is a developing story