The richest cricket league in the world has just gotten a lot richer. The IPL’s blockbuster broadcast rights auction could bring the league INR 48,390.5 crore (about US$ 6.2 billion) over the next five years, making it one of the richest sports leagues in the world.
For INR 23,575 crore (US$ 3 billion), Disney Star has retained the TV rights in the subcontinent, while Viacom 18 has secured the digital rights in the same region, as well as media rights (both TV and digital) across three global regions – Australia + New Zealand, the UK, and South Africa – for INR 23,758 crore (US$ 3 billion). Times Internet will handle media rights for two other global regions: the Middle East (INR 205 crore/US$ 26.27 million approx.) and the United States (INR 258 crore/US$ 33.06 million approx.).
When broken down further, Disney Star will pay INR 57.5 crore (US$ 7.36 million approx.) per match, whereas Viacom 18, which won the subcontinental digital rights for all matches for Rs 50 crore (US$ 6.40 million approx.) per match and then committed another INR 33.24 crore (US$ 4.26 million approx.) per match for a non-exclusive package of high-profile games (ranging between 18 and 22 matches), will effectively end up paying just over INR 58 When you factor in the global stats, the IPL is now second only to the NFL in terms of per-match value.
The overall contract for the 2023-27 cycle is 2.96 times or 196 percent greater than the last IPL rights deal (2018-22), which was for INR 16,347.5 crore (about US$ 2.55 billion at the time). The previous cycle lasted five years and consisted of 60 matches per season. The IPL has announced a changing amount of matches per season for the upcoming five-year cycle, ranging from 74 matches in 2023 and 2024, 84 matches in 2025 and 2026, and a maximum of 94 matches in 2027.
The rights were sold through an online auction that started on Sunday, June 12. The rights were sold in four categories: A (TV rights in India), B (digital rights in India), C (digital rights in India to a special package of high-profile games ranging between 18 and 22 per season, including the playoffs and final) and D (digital rights in India to a special package of high-profile games ranging between 18 and 22 per season, including the playoffs and final) and D (digital rights in India to a special package of high-profile games ranging between 18 and (global media rights across five separate regions).
The BCCI has used an e-auction to sell rights for the second time, having done so for the first time in 2018 for the sale of India’s bilateral cricket rights. Star India had previously secured the global media rights for Indian cricket in a five-year deal (2018-23) at INR 6138 crore (about US$ 944 million at the time). The average match cost around INR 60 crore (approximately US$ 9.2 million at the time), which is roughly half of the IPL’s per-match worth in this cycle.
The blockbuster deal would provide a large cash bonanza to the IPL franchises, whose share of central revenue is projected to grow to about INR 500 crore each. Apart from the obvious benefit for the BCCI, the blockbuster deal will provide a huge cash bonanza to the BCCI.
Digital rights have eclipsed the value of television in this rights cycle, and have been the most important driver of rise in the value of IPL rights. The winning price for digital rights in the subcontinent was 13% higher than Star India’s overall winning bid for worldwide consolidated rights [TV and digital] in 2017. The importance and quick expansion of the digital footprint in the Indian market can be gauged by the fact that Facebook made the biggest bid for digital rights in 2017 of INR 3900 crore (about US$ 0.61 billion). [Despite the large premium, Star’s consolidated offer had beaten Facebook to the digital rights.]
The highest bid for the subcontinent’s TV rights was 17.3 percent higher than the IPL’s per-match base fee of INR 49 crore (about US$ 6.3 million). The corresponding figure for digital rights in the region increased by 51.5 percent over the per-match base price of INR 33 crore (about US$ 4.2 million). Package C – digital rights to select high-profile games in India – increased by roughly 108 percent from a basic price of INR 16 crore (US$ 2.05 million approx.) per match to INR 33.24 crore (US$ 4.26 million approx.).
The trends, according to BCCI secretary Jay Shah, indicate the shift to digital viewing. “In 2017, there were around 560 million digital viewers, with 665 million expected in 2021.” He said, “You can expect it to develop considerably more in the next years.” “India will have 900 million internet users by 2024.” Obviously, linear viewership (TV) will continue, but there will be a shift toward digital viewership, which is where the value is realized.”
“We made disciplined bids with a focus on long-term value,” Rebecca Campbell, chairperson of the Walt Disney Company’s worldwide content and operations, said of Disney Star’s focus on television rights over digital. We decided not to go ahead with the digital rights because of the high cost of securing that package.
“We’ll be looking into further multiplatform cricket rights, such as future ICC and BCCI rights, which we now own through the 2023 and 2024 seasons.”