The lure of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for West Indian and other of the world leading cricketers is hardly going to dissipate any time soon. According to published figures the IPL has been generating billions and has been growing every succeeding year.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has claimed that brand IPL is worth US$4.5 billion (INR 27,000 crore). In its annual report for 2015-16, the board has mentioned that this staggering figure for “cricket’s biggest brand” was calculated by valuation appraisal firm Duff & Phelps.
“According to the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India, the total TV viewership of IPL 2016 calculated by impressions stood at 102 crores. A report by management consultancy firm KPMG puts the total impact of IPL 2015 on the Indian economy at Rs 1,150 crore, more than 0.6 per cent of the country’s GDP,” stated the report.
The BCCI has just floated an open tender for the T20 league’s global media rights (TV and digital) for a period of 10 years, with the digital rights available for half that period. The battle for these rights may see leading sports broadcasters like Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) and Star Sports spend more than $4 billion to pocket them.
“The IPL’s been a sure-shot hit on the field and off it too. On the field it has given the talented players a stage and a platform to exhibit their skills. It has brought the cultures of cricketing countries together and gives youngsters a unique opportunity to see the greatness in front of their eyes and learn from them.
“It has been the fastest-growing league in the world, and it has also changed the landscape of domestic sport in the country. After the IPL was launched in 2008, many other sports have started such leagues. Numbers prove that the IPL has set a benchmark, and at the BCCI, we’re extremely proud of this,” BCCI president Anurag Thakur said last Thursday.
“In a short span of nine years, the IPL has created a legacy of its own and changed the dynamics of cricket. It has been the catalyst to revive the culture of domestic sports in India, and many other sports have followed in its footsteps,” Thakur added.
“The IPL is growing by 20 per cent every year. It is a broadcasters’ delight, and a preferred platform for all the advertisers. Look at how Vivo (mobile company) has become a house-hold name after becoming the title sponsor of the league. Expect the digital rights of the event to soar exponentially in the coming years, which is why they’ve been sold for only five years,” said another BCCI official. Vivo, it is estimated, paid around INR 100 crores to buy the title sponsorship earlier this year.
According to a survey carried out by the board, the 2016 IPL was a super hit. Fifty-two per cent of the TV viewing households watched the tournament, with the league’s cumulative TV reach being 361 million viewers. 1,543,655 spectators went to watch the matches on the ground, while 4,400,000 people paid a visit to the ‘fanparks,’ an initiative taken by the BCCI to popularise the league in tier-2 cities.
The BCCI has claimed that the net viewership of the league has hit the 100 million mark. The ‘Summer Slam’ is leading the charts on the social media too, as per the survey. At 300 per cent, its growth on Twitter is the fastest among all the top sporting leagues of the world since 2014 – the UEFA Champions League is next with 239 per cent, with NFL (125 per cent), NBA (99 per cent) and MSL (75 per cent) following it. According to it, at 300 per cent, the Kolkata Knight Riders, in the past two years, is recording a faster growth on Twitter than even Manchester United (204 per cent) – one of the most popular football clubs of the world.