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Indian cricket broadcast rights get record prices

Governing Council of India for Cricket Said on Tuesday It sold television and digital broadcasting rights for a record $ 6.2 billion, more than three times the value of its previous deals, strengthening the Indian Premier League’s position as one of the world’s most valuable sports assets.

The deal includes two major parts, television rights to an Indian subcontinent, which was bought by local Disney subsidiary Star India for $ 3.02 billion. The second is digital rights, which Viacom18, a joint venture between Paramount and Reliance Industries of India, bought for $ 3.05 billion. Both deals last for five years and begin next year.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the Indian Premier League has transformed the once-stable game into a commercial juggernaut, attracting some of the world’s best players with million dollar contracts.

Television and digital deals, worth more than $ 1 billion each season, firmly establish Indian cricket competition in the top bracket of international sports leagues such as the National Football League ($ 10 billion per year) and English Premier League soccer (about $ 4 billion). And the National Basketball Association ($ 2.7 billion).

On the basis of each match, the Indian Premier League, whose season lasts just two months, is now just behind the NFL

In India, cricketers are household names by earning multi-million dollar contracts. The league has increased viewership on streaming platforms, although the number of television viewers has decreased this year.

Broadcasting bidding attracted some of the world’s largest companies, including Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures Networks India and Reliance Industries controlled by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

IPL’s appetite is similar to that of the NFL in the United States, where most interest and revenue is derived from a domestic or regional audience. The NBA and the English Premier League have expanded their businesses with broad appeal, with global television rights sales now the cornerstone of their growth strategies.

However, the IPL has attracted the interest of foreign investors, attracting wealthy sports owners and private equity companies to its growing profile and skyrocketing television business. CVC Capital Partners, which once owned a Formula 1 racing series and invested in several sports, bought the new Ahmedabad franchise in 2021, beating rivals that included the Glazer family, which includes Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In part, the growing popularity of Indian cricket comes down to fewer matches and star power.

The Indian Premier League, created in 2007, featured a bold invention: matches last for only three hours, not a full day or more, they are traditionally played in national Test matches.

At the time, this was the most controversial move in the sport of convention. But this brought new hordes of Indian fans to cricket. Celebrities like Mr. Ambani and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan started buying franchises.

Mr. Ambani owns the league’s most valuable team, the Mumbai Indians, which has won five titles and is worth $ 1.3 billion. Mr Khan, film actress Juhi Chawla and industrialist Jay Mehta own the Kolkata Knight Riders, a franchise worth roughly $ 1.1 billion.

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council India, the number of television viewers in the first five weeks of the season, which began at the end of March, was up 30 percent over the past year, despite bids for broadcast rights. .

“Television audiences are likely to shrink from here,” said Karan Taurani, a media analyst at Mumbai’s Ellara Capital. However, the number of digital viewers is expected to grow at least 15 percent, he said.

Pradeep Magazine, a longtime sports editor and cricket historian, said the league has made the Indian Cricket Board one of the richest sports regulatory bodies in the world.

Although the league’s broadcasting rights have become a source of wealth for the Indian Cricket Board, the board is mired in scandal. Its founder, Lalit Modi, left the country in 2010 after his dismissal over financial irregularities. In 2013, an investigation into illegal betting suspended both teams for two seasons.

But the scandal didn’t hurt the league’s popularity. In recent years, broadcast subscriptions have jumped by millions of new viewers, generating massive advertising revenue. Disney-owned Star India paid $ 2.09 billion for television and digital broadcasting rights in a five-year deal that ended this season.

Tarik claw Contribution Report.

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