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IPL media rights: The biggest numbers game that puts Indian sports in the sports stratosphere – Firstcricket News, Firstpost


There used to be a time when talking of money in cricket was taken to rather kindly by our friends abroad, especially in the US. The money that looked phenomenal to us wasn’t quite up to the mark with how rights were sold there, in the NBA or the NFL, or such like. We can now say that those patronising smiles have been taken care of once and for all by figures that have been thrown up by the Indian Premier League media rights auction for the period of 2023 to 2027 put India, and the IPL, right up there, with the biggest in the business.

The IPL, right from the early days, was the biggest thing in Indian sports and always promised to be the one of the biggest, at least in Asia if not beyond. But with India’s biggest asset – its massive population – as the catalyst for making the league one of the biggest events in the world, it was only a matter of time that the entire enterprise ended up at some astronomical level, as it has now done.

In sheer figures, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will now make Rs. 48, 390 crores from the rights that were sold through an e-auction, which drew in some of the biggest players i

n the business. From TV to digital, exclusive to non-exclusive, Indian and sub-continental rights to the world, IPL has gone in the stratosphere.

This was an auction that grabbed the attention of most people and the media like nothing else on our sporting stage. With the IPL already having expanded to ten teams from this year, it was pretty inevitable that the figures for the new five-year media auction would be something else. But even the most optimistic of its followers or supporters were not quite prepared for the final sum.

Needless to say, the BCCI is over the moon and along with the business of cricket, it also has made a commitment to see the funds go to the right places for Indian cricket.

“The BCCI will utilise the revenue generated from IPL to strengthen our domestic cricket structure starting from grassroots, to boost infrastructure and spruce up facilities across India,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a tweet soon after all the bidding and the sales were over.

The magnitude of interest for this auction was unprecedented, and is a real indicator of how the IPL has grown over the years and now it is competing with the biggest leagues anywhere in the world, in any sport.

The one unique thing about this e-auction was the interest in the tender document. With the reserve prices being marked at a level which promised some sensational numbers as several big players waded into the contest, it was always going to be something to see.

The document made some interesting options and the total reserve price of Rs. 32,980 crores ahead of the auction was something that promised immediate attention, not just from the companies bidding but also from people in general.

So, as the bids came in thick and fast over the last two days, the public interest and momentum grew by leaps and bounds as the numbers kept clicking.

What made the entire process that much more interesting was that the BCCI had no plans of announcing the names of the bid winners till the last of the segments had been sold, so the conjecture and guesswork in itself was taking the event to some other level.

The related handles and hashtags were going crazy over the last 48 hours and even the media, hyped up with the potential of explosive numbers, were left to find scraps to try to make out who the winners were, and how big the bid was getting.

It did break the ceiling and now the IPL is now the second most expensive franchise sporting event in the world.

Was it ever in doubt? Once the IPL started and grew, and with the millions of eyeballs that the event grabbed over the years, not just in India but all around the world, it was just a matter of time before it was where it finds itself now.

Not everyone can wrap their heads around the figures, but they can all be happy in how the Indian Premier League has translated their attention into thousands of crores, and the event into a world beater. That in itself is something to sit back and absorb.

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