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Bids for IPL media rights could hit ₹50,000 crore

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has set the combined base price for the media rights of the Indian Premier League at ₹32,890 crore or $4.35 billion.

This base price for the media rights 2023-27 seasons of the premier cricket league are nearly double of the 2017 winning bid of Star, however experts believe that the bump in sponsorships, increased viewership through streaming and larger number of matches justify the premium.

The Board has based its reserve matches based on the current format with 10 teams and 74 games, although they have kept the option of increasing the number of games going forward.

Experts suggest that the BCCI has been accurate with its pricing of the media rights, as according to their estimates premier cricket league will fetch an auction purse higher than the base price.

Santosh N, Managing Partner at D&P Advisory, said: “We anticipated that the league will fetch a price between ₹90 and ₹100 crore on a per match basis, in the auction. BCCI has priced the league at ₹89 crore per match, therefore bids will certainly clear the threshold.” According to him, the additional premium the league enjoys over 2017 is because there has been a major bump in advertisement, viewership, especially OTT (over the top)viewership.

“Advertising revenue has more than doubled in the past five years, in spite of Covid, BCCI has been successful in conducting IPL and viewership has only increased. Entities bidding for these rights know that it is a properly that has grown despite the pandemic and will continue to grow,” he added.

The introduction of two new teams, Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans is also a major factor in this price bump, as the number of matches increase by nearly 20 per cent, increasing the league’s run time. Bump in OTT viewership has also played a major role.

Ajimon Francis, Managing Director at Brand Finance India, explained, “The pandemic has made streaming almost as important as television now, which was not the case last time. OTT platforms did not have the sort of user base that the lockdown created. Viewership for Disney Hotstar for this year was around 5-6 million, which was not the case in 2017, where they had around 2.5 million users.”

For the first time in history, BCCI will be holding an e-auction, on June 12, market watchers are expecting a windfall of nearly ₹50,000 crore. IPL, which is a key mover in establishing market supremacy in the media space, will be a coveted property, and Disney Star will have to fight tooth and nail to retain their hold.

Tech majors such as Amazon, Meta (Facebook) have shown interest, and with the upcoming merger, Zee-Sony could also emerge as a contender. Reliance-Viacom 18 is also in the mix.

“With two new teams, more matches, more engagement, more venues, we are looking to take IPL to newer greater heights,” said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, while announcing the IPL tender on Tuesday. The Hindu BusinessLine

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