Day 1 of the two-part e-auction for the media rights of the Indian Premier League on June 12 concluded with the league fetching over an unprecedented 42,000 Indian crores for the next five-year cycle.
With multiple corporate giants involved in the bidding process, the collective sums attracted by the TV and digital rights for the Indian market have scaled a never-seen-before height, making the tournament over 10 billion dollars rich as a property.
And this is only from Day 1. The final amount of the television and digital rights for the Indian market alone may well go deep towards the 20 billion mark or even may surpass it. In Indian currency, each match is already set to fill the BCCI coffers by INR 105 crores, with an exceeding amount anticipated over the coming hours when the e-auction resumes on June 13.
According to a report by Cricket.com, “the day ended with the TV rights standing at INR 57 crore per game and the digital rights reaching INR 48 crore.”
At a conservative rate of 74 games per 10-team Premier League, as it stands right now, the Indian cricket board and franchises are set to enjoy a financial moolah of past 40,000 crores in the next five campaigns.
But what has truly grabbed the companies’ interest and got them bidding such insurmountable sums is the likelihood of IPL further expanding into an 84 or 94-match tournament played over a designated or two-part three-month window going forward, giving them a greater chance to recover the sums and enter profits.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India and IPL authorities are currently at the heels of their discussions with the International Cricket Council and other ICC full member administrators to finalise the next Future Tours Programme for an eight-year cycle from 2024 to 2031.
There is a very strong chance that the Indian board would have their wish of a more sizable portion of the calendar designated to an IPL window than exists already, with hardly any international cricket scheduled between April-May.
Going forward, the franchises can expect to enjoy a greater share of the broadcasting rights money, even if the cricket board persists with the existing model that makes it liable to equally share 60% of its rights income with them. It would benefit the players, too, as they can expect the purse available to each franchise at the auction to increase further.
Coming back to the e-auction, having already crossed the 40,000 crore mark, the BCCI is staring at a sum that is two and a half times higher than what the existing cycle has earned it over the last five years. Star Sports, who got the TV and digital rights both for the cycle spanning 2018 to 2022 seasons, back then made a winning bid of INR 16,347 crores.
It reflects the growing popularity and presence of the IPL as a giant in the cricket market that the BCCI evaluated its product for all four versions of the rights at a collective sum of over 32,000 Indian crores this time.
Apart from the TV and digital rights of the Indian market in categories A and B, the board also has up for sale categories C and D.
Category C amounts to a special package, which will allow the winning entity to buy rights to televise the opening game and the final, apart from night matches every weekend.
In category D, the holder will have ownership of overseas rights, with the IPL enjoying healthy and rising popularity in various markets outside India.