The Indian Premier League has vaulted into the broadcasting stratosphere with the announcement of new five-year deals for the domestic market that will bring in excess of £5bn, or nearly £14m a match.
With the IPL season consisting of 74 games, the new deal makes it the second most lucrative competition in the world on a per-match basis. The NFL continues to dominate that chart, having last year sealed a $113bn, 11-year domestic rights agreement involving five television networks and Amazon.
The value of each IPL game has nearly doubled under the new arrangement. The competition’s last five-year deal, agreed in 2017, brought in around 163.5bn rupees (about £1.74bn at today’s rates) with Disney’s Star network winning the battles for television and digital coverage. This time Star has paid 235.75bn rupees and ended up with only the television deal.
Amazon’s decision last week not to pursue its interest does not appear to have had much impact on the price raised for digital rights, with that auction won by Viacom 18, a joint venture between Paramount and TV18, the media arm of the Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s business empire, for 237.6bn rupees.
A third domestic package, offering non-exclusive rights to stream 18 of the competition’s most significant matches, is still to be allocated.
“The BCCI will utilize the revenue generated from IPL to strengthen our domestic cricket structure starting from grassroots, to boost infrastructure and spruce up facilities across India,” said Jay Shah of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. “Now it’s time for our state associations and IPL franchises to work together with the IPL to enhance the fan experience and ensure that our biggest stakeholder – the cricket fan – is well looked after.”
International rights are expected to be allocated on 21 June. Interested parties were required to buy invitation-to-tender documents before 10 May for a non-returnable fee of around £2m. Sky, whose exclusive three-year deal to broadcast the competition in the UK and Ireland expired at the end of this year’s competition, is among those to have done so.