The Indian Premier League(IPL), a T20 cricket league that attracts some of the best players in the world, will see its broadcast rights increase by more than double next season. The TV and digital media rights for 2023 have been sold for an incredible US$6.2 billion.
Disney-Star has acquired television rights for India, while Viacom 18 secured digital distribution. Furthermore, Times Internet also acquired overseas rights.
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On Tuesday, cricket‘s most lucrative competition experienced an extraordinary boost when Secretary of BCCI Jay Shah revealed the total value of IPL broadcasting rights had doubled to Rs 48,390 crore – a staggering 2.43 times higher than its previous high.
This agreement involves a competitive bidding process in which 410 matches will be available for television (package A), digital platforms (package B) and 98 non-exclusive matches for another digital platform (package C). This marks the first time broadcasters have been given multiple packages of content.
Star India will retain its television rights, while Viacom 18 has secured exclusive digital rights for the Indian subcontinent for Rs 23,758 crore. It also gets Australia, South Africa and the UK. Times Internet was awarded MENA and US territories while YuppTV – the world’s leading Over-The-Top (OTT) provider for South Asian content – secured live streaming rights.
Digital rights in high demand
In 2023, the IPL broadcasting rights will be sold in four packages. Each package consists of 74 matches per season for five years.
The winner will have the exclusive rights to digitally broadcast all games across India and beyond, with their choice of location for each match.
One of the key digital deals is a non-exclusive package for 18 games that includes the opening game, final, three play-offs and some weekend double headers. Companies would love to own this package because it provides massive revenue (advertisement plus subscriptions) from those 18 matches.
Other digital rights include international broadcast and streaming of the IPL outside India. Viacom18 was awarded Australia, South Africa, and UK regions while Times Internet took home Middle East and US regions.
In this rights cycle, digital rights have exceeded the value of TV and have been the biggest driver of growth in the value of the IPL rights. The winning bid for the digital rights in the subcontinent alone was 13% higher than the overall bid Star India had made to win the global consolidated rights [TV and digital] in 2017.
The importance and the rapid rise of the digital footprint in the Indian market can be gauged from the fact that in 2017, the highest bid for the digital rights was INR 3900 crore (US$ 0.61 billion approx.), by Facebook.
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the world’s most lucrative sports leagues, and that extends to broadcasting rights as well. At a recent auction, per match TV and digital rights were sold for an all-time high value of Rs 105 crore.
That was two and a half times the value paid by Star India in 2017, which has been the base price for media rights. A fresh e-auction will take place on Sunday, with BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal forecasting it will fetch at least twice as much money this time around.
Sony-Zee combination, Viacom18, Amazon Prime Video and Google were among the potential bidders. India’s streaming market is experiencing rapid growth, and media companies see streaming as an avenue to expand their subscriber bases.
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In India, all IPL matches will be broadcasted live on Star Sports Network. Furthermore, Viacom 18 has acquired the digital rights for the tournament.
Industry analysts anticipate that television remains the preferred medium in India to watch the IPL, however digital streaming could potentially boost Reliance Industries-owned platforms Voot and JioTV, according to industry observers. Furthermore, experts note that streaming helps attract captive users.
Disney+ Hotstar, with a subscriber base of 400 million, is betting on free streaming to attract more viewers. It is also targeting tier 2 and tier 3 households in rural areas as they represent key demographics for advertisers in India.
At the IPL broadcasting rights auction held in June, the BCCI sold Package A of 410 matches to Disney-Star for Rs 23,575 crore, while Viacom 18 secured all other global media rights for an equally hefty Rs 23,758 crore. Over five years, Viacom 18 is projected to generate INR 48,390 crores in TV and digital revenue from the tournament.
A huge success to both IPL and cricket market
Chairman, IPL Governing Council, Mr Brijesh Patel said: “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome the winners to the IPL family and I also thank all the bidders for showing their interest to be part of the growth story that this League has been writing every year. This faith of India Inc. in Brand IPL also testifies that they see value in investing in the property which has only seen growth in all directions.
“The growth achieved by the IPL in a span of 15 years has been substantial. We are now among the top two sporting leagues of the world in terms of per match media rights valuation. This speaks volumes about BCCI’s organisational capabilities and the quality of cricket on display in IPL along with the support of our biggest stakeholder – the cricket fans.”
BCCI treasurer, Mr Arun Singh Dhumal said, “What we have achieved with IPL media rights will go a long way in promoting a purely “Made in India” sports property on the global stage. This is our first step towards what we at the BCCI have aimed to achieve in making India a sporting giant and expanding IPL’s base globally and making it the biggest ‘sporting’ league in the world. IPL’s craze and popularity have never ceased to surprise anyone with each playing season.
This is a landmark achievement and it will help the League grow not only in stature but also in credibility on the global sporting stage. It is not every day that your partners and stakeholders entrust so much faith and trust in a brand like the IPL and the leadership qualities of BCCI.”