The IPL electronic media rights auction for the 2023-27 cycle has not only brought BCCI a windfall, but has also reconfirmed the league’s superpower status in world cricket and, in a broader sense, is testament to the market power of Indians and Indians abroad. Across four buckets covering both TV and digital in the Indian subcontinent and rest of the world, media rights were sold for Rs 48,390 crore.
BCCI deserves all the credit for playing the bidding game well. Many had doubts about the valuation, thanks to the aftermath of the pandemic. But a successful IPL season this year, which saw the addition of two new franchises, and BCCI’s deft use of the digital audience two seasons before when Covid emptied the stadiums, ensured that the IPL brand would not. did not suffer. In fact, the media rights auction showed that IPL is now a world leader in terms of sports business. IPL’s per game valuation is Rs 118 crore. By this metric, it now ranks second in the world, after the American NFL, and ahead of the English Premier League.
Moreover, IPL today has not only become a treadmill of cricketing talent for Team India but also an arena where international players are tested and given the opportunity to hone their skills. England international Jonny Bairstow testified to this recently when he credited his IPL spell for his astonishing performance against New Zealand in the Trent Bridge Test which secured the England side a five-wicket win. BCCI needs to use the revenue generated from the IPL wisely: spend more on women’s cricket, offer better domestic match fees, create more talent incubators, especially in areas like the North East. Money is not a problem.
This article appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of the Times of India.
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