The combined value of TV and digital rights for the next IPL cycle (2023-27) for the Indian subcontinent has more than doubled to INR 39,775 crore (US $ 5.10 billion approx.). That figure was arrived at after the highest bidders for the TV and digital rights were confirmed on Monday, the second day of the IPL rights e-auction. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the winning bid for Package A – TV rights for the Indian subcontinent – was INR 57.5 crore (US $ 7.36 million approx.) Per match, while Package B – digital rights for the Indian subcontinent – attracted the highest bid of INR 50 crore (US $ 6.41 million approx.) Per match.
In terms of the per match value, the combined number of INR 107.5 crore ($ 13.78 million approx.) Has put the IPL among the highest ranked in all sports, alongside the NFL and the English Premier League. Each NFL match is worth $ 35.07 million * (based on the 10-year rights deal signed in 2022) while the value of an EPL match as per the 2022-25 rights deal is listed at $ 11.34 million **.
Based on 74 matches per season for the next five years, the new TV rights package is worth INR 21,275 crore ($ 2.72 billion approx.) While the digital rights are worth INR 18,500 crore ($ 2.37 billion approx.). In terms of INR value, the overall number is 2.43 times or 143% higher than the previous IPL rights deal, worth INR 16,347.5 crore ($ 2.55 billion approx at the time). In US dollar terms, the rise is exactly double or 100%.
The names of the winners have not been disclosed yet by the IPL authorities as the e-auction is still in progress with bidders contesting for the final two packages: Package C (digital rights for India subcontinent for a special bouquet of matches) and Package D (rest of world). Consequently, the overall worth of the IPL rights for the next cycle will see a change too.
The biggest driver of this growth in IPL rights has been the exponential rise of digital rights. The INR 18,500 crore the highest bidder paid was by itself 13% higher than the overall money Star India had paid to bag the global consolidated rights (TV and digital) for the previous five-year cycle. The importance and rapid rise of the digital footprint in the Indian market can be gauged from the fact that in 2017, the highest bid for the digital rights was INR 3900 crore ($ 610 million approx. At the time) by Facebook.
The highest bid for the TV rights was 17.3% higher than the base price of INR 49 crore ($ 6.3 million approx.) The IPL had set for Package A. The corresponding number for digital rights saw a massive jump of 51.5% higher than the base price of INR 33 crore ($ 4.2 million approx.).
Package C includes “Special Package” non-exclusive matches including the tournament opener, weekend evening matches, and the four playoffs, including the final. While the opening match and the playoffs will be mandatory, the IPL will determine the number and which of the evening matches from the double-headers will be included, based on the total number of games in a season.
The number of matches in this package, the IPL has said, will vary depending on the total number of matches in a season. If the IPL includes 74 matches (like IPL 2022), the Special Package will have 18 matches. If there are more than 74 matches in a season, then the Special Package matches will rise by two for every 10 additional matches. So if there are 84 matches in a season, then the Special Package matches will rise to 20 and if the tournament has 94 games, the Special Package will have 22 matches.
Just like the winner of Package A could enter into a bidding contest with the highest bidder for Package B, the winner of Package B will also have the choice of getting into a direct contest with the highest bidders of Packages C and D each.
Additional reporting by Yash Jha
All USD values are approximations where 1 USD = 78 INR
* As for a Forbes report based on the NFL rights deal
** As for a report in the Athletic
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo