First publised on 2022-06-15 07:56:47
The hugely competitive and successful bidding for IPL media (TV, digital and overseas) rights over three days once again proved that cricket is still the number one spectator sport in India and IPL is the number one cricket league in the world. While it was a bonanza for the BCCI which raked in a total of Rs 48,390cr (up from Rs 16347cr in 2017) from all the four packages (TV, Indian subcontinent; Digital, Indian subcontinent; Digital, special bouquet India and Rest of the World, TV & Digital) on offer, it also proved that there were companies which were willing to put in an awesome amount of money in advance to acquire these rights as they are confident of support from advertisers.
While Disney-Star paid Rs 23575cr for the Indian TV rights for the next five years for a total of 410 games at a cost of Rs 57.5cr per game, the biggest surprise was that Viacom paid Rs 20500cr for the same 410 games at Rs 50cr per game for the digital rights. Viacom also bid aggressively for the special bouquet for digital and paid Rs 3258cr at Rs 33.24cr per game to complete its digital dominance. For overseas, three territories were bagged by Times Internet while Viacom bagged the other two at a total price of Rs 1058cr.
The aggressive bidding for digital proves that with the penetration of mobile phones and internet in India, cricket viewership has changed drastically and digital has emerged as a lucrative avenue as more and more people watch games on the move on their handsets as they do not have access to television when the matches are played.
With its coffers overflowing, the BCCI is, like always, expected to use the funds for the betterment of Indian cricket. In fact, it started the process on Day Two of the auction when it announced that it would give a raise in pensions to former cricketers and match officials (both men and women) with immediate effect. More than 900 people are expected to benefit from this measure with more than 75% getting a 100% raise.