IPL: Prices Soar in Media Rights Bidding War

Already the crown jewel of the sporting scene on the Indian sub-continent, the Indian Premier League’s star remains firmly on the rise, with fans tuning in to support their favourite team, and many placing bets on the best betting apps for iOS.

And with huge popularity, comes huge value. A statement which has been emphatically illustrated by the latest bidding war for the TV and digital media rights. If the astronomical figures achieved in this latest rights agreement are any barometer, it seems that this spectacular ten team tournament will be drawing the fans and hitting the sporting headlines for some time to come.

Disney and Viacom 18 Outbid Rivals

Commencing at 11am on Sunday 12th June the latest rights deal covering the 2023-2027 cycle saw four packages put up for auction:

  • Package A – TV rights for the Indian sub-continent.
  • Package B – Digital rights for the Indian sub-continent.
  • Package C – Non-exclusive digital rights to a bundle of 18 matches per season, including the opening match, final, three playoffs and weekend double headers.
  • Package D – Combined TV and digital rights for the overseas market, covering all games.

And as expected competition was fierce – big hitters Amazon, Disney, and Sony all reportedly in the mix as – remaining unresolved at the close of play on Sunday – the auction extended into a second day. With Amazon allegedly the first to drop out of the race, Disney (Star Sports) then ultimately submitted the winning bid for Package A, totalling Rs 23,575 crore or Rs 57.5 crore per match – significantly beating the base price which had been set at Rs 49 crore per match.

Given the rapid growth in the digital broadcasting sphere, the battle for Package B was also hotly contested; Viacom 18 bagging this contract with a winning bid of Rs 20,500 crore, equating to Rs 50 crore per match – well clear of the Rs 33 crore per match base price.

Late Monday then saw Viacom18 – a joint venture between Paramount and TV18 – add Package D to their portfolio, complimenting their Indian sub-continent digital offering with the overseas rights contract. The price for this package has not yet been released (as of 13/06/22) but is again thought to exceed the base rate of Rs 3 crore per match. The destination of Package C remained undetermined at close of play on Monday 13th June, with the price having risen to Rs 18.5 crore per game.

Now Number Two Amongst Global Sporting Leagues

When taken together the total garnered from the distribution rights is expected to approach Rs 50 crore or close to 6billion US dollars. A spectacular windfall for Indian cricket, and a high total by any sporting standards; BCCI Secretary Jay Shah illustrating this point when stating “At present, a National Football League (NFL) 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,”

Overall, the latest totals represent a growth of over 2.5 times the figure of Rs 16,347.5 crore paid by Star India for the 2017-22 cycle, which in turn represented a huge uplift on the Rs 8,200 crore deal with Sony Pictures Network which covered the 2007-2016 period. The IPL is clearly trending upwards, and at this rate may yet threaten the NFL for the number one spot!

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