An IPL game is now worth a record INR 105 crore (USD 13.44 million), making it – in terms of value per game – the second most lucrative sports product in the world, behind the NFL (USD 35.07 million). *). That figure could actually increase as the electronic auction for the media rights to the T20 tournament, which kicked off on Sunday, continues.
So far, the combined offer is INR 38,850 crore (USD 4.97 billion) – equivalent to INR 21,090 crore (USD 2.7 billion) for Package A (TV rights for the Indian subcontinent) and INR 17,760 crore (USD 2.27 billion) for Package B (digital for the Indian subcontinent); it is already 2.38 times or 138% higher than the 2018-22 IPL rights deal, struck by Star India in 2017 for $2.55 billion.
These figures are based on the fact that there will be 74 games per season in the next five-year rights cycle from 2023. As things stand, the IPL has overtaken the Premier League, whose value per game, by 2022-25 rights, is listed at $11.34 million**.
Abandoning the gated-offer process, IPL put its media rights up for sale through an electronic auction for the first time. In an electronic auction, bids are submitted through an online portal operated by an independent company. The highest bids in all categories are displayed on screen – simultaneously and live – but the names of the bidders are withheld to ensure rivals do not raise prices.
For this auction, the IPL has set a minimum base price for each of the four categories and asked bidders to state their price per game. For package A, the base price per game is INR 49 crore (USD 6.3 million). For package B, it is INR 33 crore (USD 4.2 million) per game. For package C, it is INR 16 crore (USD 2.05 million) per game. For package D, it is INR 3 crore (USD 390,000).
On Sunday, Packages A and B were auctioned simultaneously with all the high bidders among the final list of seven eagerly competing. The highest bid for Package A was INR 57 crore (USD 7.29 million), 16.3% higher than the base price set by IPL. The highest bid for Package B was INR 48 crore (USD 6.14 million), 45.4% above the base price.
The combined figure – INR 105 crore – is already 93.6% higher than the per game value in the previous IPL rights deal (INR 54.23 crore).
Bidders – Disney-Star, Sony, Viacom-Reliance, Zee, Fun Asia, Super Sport and Times Internet – will resume bidding on Tuesday at 11am IST. According to the rules established by IPL, the winner of package A has the right to compete for the digital rights by offering the winner of package B 5% more than the highest bid. They will then fight each other until one of them falls. Once the highest bidder for packages A and B is determined, the bidding process for packages C and D will begin.
All USD values are approximations where 1 USD = 78 INR
*According to a Forbes report based on the 2021 NFL rights deal
** According to a report in the Athletic
Additional reporting by Yash Jha
Nagraj Gollapudi is editor-in-chief of ESPNcricinfo