The auction of TV and digital rights for the 2023-27 cycle of domestic Twenty20 cricket’s Indian Premier League has concluded, with the four available rights packages split between pay-TV’s Star India, entertainment and media conglomerate Viacom18, and Indian newspaper group Times Internet.
In total, the four packages have been bought for $6.2 billion. Star retained domestic TV rights (Package A), Viacom18 secured both Package B (all-encompassing domestic digital rights) and Package C (a special bloc of local streaming rights), and Package D (TV and digital for the rest of the world outside the Indian subcontinent) was snapped up by a combination of Viacom18 and Times Internet.
Overall, the deal is worth 196% more than the last rights agreement, struck in 2017 by Star and its digital affiliate Hotstar and covering the 2018-22 seasons, which amounted to $2.55 billion.
In terms of the sums involved, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) governing body secured $3.02 billion for Package A, $2.62 billion for Package B, $417.2 million for Package C, and $135.49 million for Package D.
Internationally, Viacom18 has secured rights in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK, while Times Internet snapping them up in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the US.
The total cost per match for broadcasters will be $15.11 million, meaning a fixture from the IPL is now the second-most expensive single sporting property for broadcasters, behind only a game from American football’s NFL.
Of that figure, Star will pay $7.36 million per game, Viacom18, with its multiple packages, $7.43 million, and Times Internet will make up the remainder.
The three-day online auction, which began on Sunday (June 12), initially covered the A and B domestic packages over the weekend and on Monday (June 13), before turning to the international rights.
The tender process for the sale of these rights was launched on March 29, with this being the first time since the IPL’s launch in 2008 that an e-auction has been used.
It is also the first e-auction carried out for TV rights in Indian cricket since the last set of domestic rights to India’s national team home matches was sold in 2018. That process was a two-day affair.
Alongside Star and SPN, Viacom18 and Zee Entertainment were seen as the main firms expected to bid heavily for domestic rights.
According to ESPNCricinfo, media firm FunAsia and sub-Saharan pay-TV broadcaster SuperSport also put in bids.
While global media giants Amazon and Google both acquired the bidding documents, it was reported earlier this month that both parties had decided not to take their interest any further.
The ‘per game’ amounts listed above cover 410 IPL fixtures in total over the next five seasons – 74 each in 2023 and 2024, 84 in 2025 and 2026, and then potentially as many as 94 in 2027.
Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI, said: “IPL’s growth story and its phenomenal rise in the sporting world is a result of people’s immense faith and belief in the BCCI leadership and its workforce to keep on delivering under all adversities. I am sure with the constant support of everyone in the eco-system we will be able to take brand IPL to new heights on the global sports stage.”
Brijesh Patel, chair of the IPL governing council, added: “The growth achieved by the IPL in a span of 15 years has been substantial. We are now among the top two sporting leagues of the world in terms of per match media rights valuation. This speaks volumes about BCCI’s organizational capabilities and the quality of cricket on display in IPL along with the support of our biggest stakeholder – the cricket fans.”