The Indian Premier League, which attained decacron status in 2022, was a unicorn right from inception. This comes at a time when the first season of the Women Premier League, the new T20 sporting league, is ongoing and its commercials are being compared with IPL valuations.
According to an analysis by D&P India Advisory, the Indian Premier League was a unicorn with over a billion-dollar valuation at inception in 2008 itself. This takes into account the media rights, title sponosrships, and associate sponsorship value of the IPL ecosytem.
IPL became a unicorn even before companies such as Inmobi and Flipkart attained that status. In addition, IPL is also the most profitable unicorn compared to other start-ups.
Santosh N, managing partner of D&P Advisory said, “The IPL has been a game-changer for the Indian sports industry, and our analysis highlights its incredible success from the very beginning. The findings demonstrate the tremendous potential of the Indian market, and we believe that it will encourage further investment in the Indian sports industry.”
Talking about WPL, he said given the value of media rights and lesser number of games, it will take a while for it to achieve similar valuations.
“ It would be unreasonable to compare the expected current value of WPL with the current value of IPL. Comparing the WPL’s current valuation with the value of IPL in 2007-08 would make more sense. But it should be noted that the WPL is currently played with only five teams, whereas the IPL had eight teams initially. Also, the media rights and title rights for WPL are lower than the equivalent numbers for IPL at inception. This makes it difficult for the WPL to command a valuation similar to that of the IPL in 2008,” he added.
With viewership and fan engagement expected to show steady growth, WPL is also expected to become a significantly more valuable property in the future.
According to D&P advisory, the IPL ecosystem was valued at $10.9 billion in 2022, within 15 years of inception.