The IPL is the golden egg of the BCCI – unarguably the crown jewel of world cricket . And if there were any doubts about that, they are all dispelled once its media rights have reached record highs.
After securing over ₹43000 crores on the first day of the auction, Day 2 seems to have a winner of Package B – the digital rights for broadcasting the IPL cycle of 2023 to 2027 in the Indian subcontinent. The winner, surprisingly, is not Disney or Sony, rather it is Viacom18 which will be the new online home of India’s centerpiece of domestic cricket.
Viacom18 is a joint venture between Paramount Global and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries. Now, it seems to have bagged the rights to stream the IPL digitally in the Indian subcontinent for the next five years, shelling out $2.63 billion (₹20,500 crores) in the process. TV rights for the Indian subcontinent expectedly went to Disney-owned Star India, for a staggering $3Bn.
Come the next season of the IPL, and Viacom18 will find a meteoric rise in its Indian video subscribers (which is unsurprising considering how passionate Indians are about cricket).
Day 2 saw bids rise to higher levels than yesterday as the auction spilled into the third day and bids closed at ₹44,075 crores in all. The high-profile auction has, so far, witnessed the winners of Packages A, B, and D. Package A, which is the TV rights to broadcast the tournament in the Indian subcontinent, has gone to Disney (Star Sports) for $3 billion (₹23.575 crores), while Packages B and D (digital rights to stream the IPL in foreign markets such as Australia, the UK, and Europe) have gone to Viacom.
Package A was sold for a record ₹57.5 crores (per match), while the digital rights were sold for ₹50 crores (per match). This means that every IPL match will now cost a whooping ₹107.5 crores. The winner for Package C, which has 18 non-exclusive matches, has not been determined yet, but at the time of closure, the bids stopped at ₹1700 crores (the base price for the same was ₹11 crores).
One thing is for sure – despite heavyweights such as Amazon, Alphabet, and Apple opting out of the auction and being content to sit in the dugout, the auction has proved that the anticipation and excitement of the IPL are certainly not limited to the field.