BL Explainer

Explained: IPL Media Rights and the league’s global standing  

Ayushi Kar | | Updated on: Jun 15, 2022

 The IPL media rights deal will fetch an overall revenue of ₹48,390 crore of revenue for the BCCI

1. What do media rights for IPL entail?

The media rights for the 2023-2027 IPL cycle were divided into four categories for the auction process. The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) did so in hopes of making more money and allowing for deeper competition as well as the participation of smaller players in the e-auction, especially for non-exclusive rights to stream 18 important matches of the league.

Therefore, the media rights were broken into categories A, B, C & D to be sold. Package A was the television rights for the Indian Subcontinent, Package B was the digital rights for India, Package C was the rights to stream 18 crucial matches (this included the inaugural match, playoff games, weekend double headers and evening games) — lastly, Package D was the rights to broadcast the matches in rest of the world. 

2. Who has bagged the rights in the 2022 auction and at what price?

Now, this question has a complicated answer, since multiple broadcasters own the media rights for the premier cricketing league. There are two key winners, however, first and foremost Mukesh Ambani-backed Viacom18 and the incumbent rights holder for the 2018-2022 cycle Disney Star. Viacom18 has bagged the rights to exclusively air IPL matches digitally for ₹23,773 crore.

In addition to purchasing package B, which gives the company the right to air all of the IPL matches digitally, Viacom18 proactively bought package C as well to ensure that their digital rights are exclusive. Incumbent Disney Star has bagged the television rights to the league for ₹23,575 crore.

The rights to air the matches in the rest of the world are divided between Viacom18 and Times Internet. While Viacom18 has bagged the rights for Australia, South Africa and the UK, Times Internet got the Middle East and North Africa region and the US.

3. What was the price offered in 2017?

In contrast, Disney Star paid ₹16,347 crore for the IPL media rights overall for the 2018-2022 edition. Therefore, the value of the league has become thrice its value, five years ago. In the last five years, the league has gained a lot of momentum and prestige to be considered to be one of the most prestigious media properties that a broadcaster can have.

Hotstar’s success to become one of India’s most prominent OTTs, competitive with global giants such as Netflix and Amazon is also primarily due to Disney Star’s ownership of IPL.

4. At such a high value will successful bidders recoup their investment?

Most analysts do not believe that the winner will be able to recoup their investments in the initial years of ownership, both for the television and digital rights of the league. How long this period will last differs from expert to expert. However, we should not expect broadcasters to break even for the first three years essentially.

On the contrary, having IPL on your roster has other synergetic benefits. For instance, Disney Star will preserve its dominance in the linear television market, and Reliance can join the OTT big leagues either through Viacom18’s platform Voot, or Jio Platforms. Broadcasters will have to monetise this property well in order to recoup the money, overall the property is very expensive, so it is a tough road ahead. 

5. How much has BCCI earned totally from auctioning IPL media rights this time?

The IPL media rights deal will fetch an overall revenue of ₹48,390 crore of revenue for the BCCI.

6. Where does this put IPL among other global leagues?

IPL has joined the global big leagues with this auction. On a per match basis, it is the second most expensive sports property in the world. It is more expensive than the English Premier Football League, which is worth $11 million per match, meanwhile, IPL media rights break down to $15 million per match.

It outranks other top baseball and basketball leagues in the US, a country that is known for its craze for televised sports. It is slightly behind the National Football League, which stands at $17 million per match.

Published on June 15, 2022
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