BCCI hopes to double IPL revenue in 2023-27 cycle

Published on Sep 29, 2021 09:31 PM IST

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is going all out to fortify its most attractive property – the Indian Premier League (IPL).

IPL’s media rights will be in direct competition with ICC’s events. (IPL/Twitter)
IPL’s media rights will be in direct competition with ICC’s events. (IPL/Twitter)
ByRasesh Mandani, Mumbai

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is going all out to fortify its most attractive property – the Indian Premier League (IPL). Soon after the current round of IPL expansion ends on October 25, the media rights tender for the next cycle (2023-27) will be released. 

The IPL is where the BCCI makes 60% of its money from. Industry estimates peg the IPL’s annual revenue to be close to 40% of cricket’s global revenue. If market forces live up to BCCI’s expectations, IPL’s financial might could grow more. 

“The IPL media-rights are the most sought in cricket,” said BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal. “IPL being one of the most popular leagues in all sport, we are expecting great traction not only from television broadcasters but new-age media as well.” 

Currently, Star India’s five-year deal has it paying BCCI R16,347 crore (R 54.5 crore per match). With the rapid growth of the league and sustained viewership numbers, BCCI officials are expecting the rights to fetch R 30-35,00,000 crore. It does not sound far-fetched because the expanded IPL will offer broadcasters a minimum of 14 additional matches. That translates into 756 crore at current rates. And there is a long-term objective to add 34 more matches to IPL every year. 

IPL’s media rights will be in direct competition with ICC’s events and, ironically, with BCCI’s bilateral series. ICC will go to the market soon seeking broadcasters for the 2024-31 World Cup offerings. Star currently pays the ICC nearly US $ 2 billion for six world events in the 2015-23 cycle. 

ICC is set to project a solid offering – a world event every year which will include the 50-over Champions Trophy, a 50-over World Cup and the World T20. 

In what is a constant tussle for a window in a crowded calendar, BCCI has not been able to stop ICC’s attempts to have a world event every year. BCCI’s intention to seek fresh bids for IPL is being seen as nothing but an attempt to secure the first mover’s advantage. 

“The landscape is definitely going to change because I don’t think one person can buy all the rights now,” Rajesh Kaul, Sports Business head at Sony Pictures Networks had said recently. 

For now, Star holds rights of all the prime properties; they pay the BCCI a premium of R 60.1 crore for every bilateral international India play at home. “The playing window is being squeezed every year. Now with the IPL expanding and ICC events scheduled annually, something has to give,” said a leading broadcast executive said. “That something will be bilateral cricket. I think BCCI knows it too and they will focus their energies on IPL rights.”   

The emergence of digital entities in India could also be a game-changer. In 2017, Facebook made an impressive bid of R 3900 crore for IPL’s digital rights. But Star’s consolidated bid (TV and digital) of R 16,000 crore plus won. That it was merely 3% over the highest bid value in all categories means a standalone digital bid can prevail this time. With the Sony-Zee merger in the offing and a Viacom 18 Sports channel expected, there will be enough entities to compete with Star.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rasesh Mandani loves a straight drive. He has been covering cricket, the governance and business side of sport for close to two decades. He writes and video blogs for HT.

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