IPL media rights: With $12 million per match, IPL only behind NFL as world's 2nd most lucrative sports league

IPL media rights: With $12 million per match, IPL only behind NFL as world’s 2nd most lucrative sports league

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to scale new heights in the upcoming days as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expecting an intense bidding war between some of the biggest broadcasting and digital giants across the globe to battle it out for the IPL media rights for the 2023-27 cycle. The BCCI expects a huge cash influx as the media rights for the world’s biggest T20 league is up for grabs at the ongoing e-auction.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah is optimistic about the IPL growing into a bigger brand and leapfrogging the likes of the English Premier League (EPL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) to become the second-most lucrative sporting league in the world behind only the National Football League (NFL) after the conclusion of the IPL media rights e-auction which got underway on Sunday (June 12).

IPL currently ranks as the fourth biggest sporting league in the world in terms of “per match broadcasting fees” behind NFL, EPL and the Major League Baseball. However, Shah expects the cash-rich T20 league to jump to the second spot after the IPL media rights auction for the 2023-27 cycle.

Shah revealed IPL was earning $9 million per match in the last five-year cycle with Disney Star securing the media rights of the tournament from 2018 to 2022. However, the BCCI secretary claimed the valuation will now jump to at least $12 million per game even if the rights are sold at the base price that has been set by the BCCI.

“At present, a National Football League game costs a broadcaster about $17 million, which is the highest for any sports league. That’s followed by the English Premier League, at $11 million and the Major League Baseball figure, too, is roughly the same. In the last five-year cycle, we got $9 million from one IPL game. This time, going by the present minimum base price that we have set, BCCI will get paid $12 million per IPL match. That’s a giant leap for Indian cricket on the world stage. We will be just behind NFL,” Shah was quoted as saying by The Indian Express in an interview.

Also Read: IPL media rights auction: Everything you need to know about date, time, bidders, base price

Star had bought the IPL rights for the 2018-22 cycle for a sum of around USD 3 billion back then. However, the BCCI is expecting the amount to double this time around with a number of major contenders in the fray. The likes of Zee, Reliance, Sony, Star and SuperSport among others will be locking horns to secure the TV and the digital rights of the IPL for the next five-year cycle.

Amazon were also in the race to secure the digital rights of the tournament but ended up pulling out at the last moment. However, despite Amazon throwing in the towel, BCCI remains bullish on the media rights and expects the bidding war to cross the $7 billion mark.

The media rights have been divided into four separate packages – A, B, C and D. While package A consists of the television rights for the Indian subcontinent, package B consists of the digital rights for the Indian subcontinent. Package C is a bouquet of special matches while D consists of overseas TV and digital rights.

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Explaining the idea behind introducing package C – which consists of weekend games and playoff matches, Shah said the BCCI wanted to increase the number of broadcasting partners this time around in order to also help cricket expand its reach.

“If we had done this conventionally, we would have only a limited number of participants. We introduced Package C because we wanted many players to participate in the tendering process. This helps cricket grow, we need to expand the game and this will help. If more players are in the fray, it will be good for the game,” Shah told the Indian Express. “They have seven broadcasting partners, we are looking at just three or four,” he added citing NFL’s example.

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