The IPL is now valued at INR 105 crore (US$13.44 million), making it – by value per game – the second most profitable sports product in the entire world, after the NFL (US$35.07 million*). That number could actually rise considering the ongoing online media rights auction for the T20 tournament, which began on Sunday.
Presenting the aggregate amount so far is INR 38,850 crore (US$ 4.97 billion) – i.e. Rs 21,090 crore (US$ 2.7 billion) for Package A (TV rights for the Indian subcontinent) and INR 17,760 crore (US$ 2.27 billion) for Package B . (digital for the Indian subcontinent); It is already 2.38 times, or 138%, higher than the 2018-22 IPL rights deal, which Star India acquired in 2017 for $2.55 billion.
These numbers are based on having 74 games per season in the five-year rights cycle starting in 2023. As it stands, the IPL has been outdone by the Premier League, whose value per game is listed, according to rights 2022-25. at $11.34 million**.
Ditching the closed bidding process, IPL has put its media rights up for sale for the first time through an online auction. In an electronic auction, bids are submitted through an online portal operated by an independent company. The highest bids in all categories are shown on screen – simultaneously and live – but the names of the bidders have not been revealed to ensure that competitors do not increase prices.
For this auction, the IPL set a minimum base price for each of the four categories and required bidders to list their prices on a per-match basis. For Package A, the base price per match is INR 49 crore (US$ 6.3 million). For Package B, it is 33 crore (US$4.2 million) per match. For package C, it is INR 16 crore (US$ 2.05 million) per match. Package D is 3 crore (US$390,000).
On Sunday, Packages A and B went up to bid simultaneously with all the major bidders out of the final list of seven fiercely contenders. The highest bid for Package A was INR 57 crore (USD 7.29 million) – 16.3% higher than the base price set by the IPL. The highest bid for Package B was INR 48 crore (US$6.14 million), 45.4% more than the base price.
The combined figure – INR 105 crore – is 93.6% higher than the per-match value of the previous IPL rights deal (INR 54.23 crore).
Bidders – Disney Star, Sony, Viacom Reliance, Zee, Art of Asia, Supersport and Times Internet – will resume auctioning on Tuesday at 11am IST. According to the rules set by the IPL, the winner of Package A has the right to compete for digital rights by locking the horns with the highest bidder of Package B. The auction process will continue until one of them drops. Once you have identified the highest bidder for packages (a) and (b), the auction process for packages (c) and (d) will begin.
All USD values are approximate as 1 USD = 78 INR
* According to a Forbes report based on the 2021 NFL rights deal
** According to a report in Athletic
Reporting on Yash Jha
Njraj Gulabudi, news editor at ESPNcricinfo
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