Women’s IPL: The next big thing for the BCCI? | Cricket News – Times of India


Indian Premier League, the nation’s prime cricket competitors, is making ready to roll out a girls’s league as organizers search methods to make the third most-watched sporting occasion greater, extra worthwhile and various.
Board of Management for Cricket in India is the game’s governing physique and conducts the wildly-popular males’s version of IPL, broadcast rights for that are set to be fought over by media giants together with The Walt Disney Co. and Amazon.com Inc. The BCCI desires to public sale broadcast rights for the women-only video games and its six league groups by early subsequent 12 months, its head Jay Shah instructed Bloomberg Information in an interview in Mumbai.
“In the meanwhile, there’s sturdy curiosity in media rights,” Shah mentioned, including that he was hopeful the house owners of males’s IPL franchises would bid for girls’s league groups too. The affiliation, he mentioned, desires to bolster the ladies’s sport because it’s usually missed within the in any other case cricket-crazy nation of just about 1.4 billion folks.
Shah’s sport plan to bolster range can also be underpinned by enterprise savvy as he seems for extra area of interest methods to monetize the 15-year-old sports activities franchise. IPL, estimated to be value $7 billion, attracted 600 million viewers final 12 months and trails solely the Premier League and the National Football League when it comes to viewership, in accordance with BCCI estimates.
An public sale of broadcast rights for the lads’s league in June is probably going to attract bids of greater than $5 billion in a heated contest that would embody Amazon Prime Video, Walt Disney, Sony Group Corp. and Reliance Industries Ltd., led by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
So long as cricket continues to be performed within the allies of India, IPL’s reputation will hold growing, in accordance with Utkarsh Sinha, managing director at Bexley Advisors in Mumbai.
“IPL is among the stickiest media properties obtainable, and heavyweights will slug it out to get media rights to it,” Sinha mentioned. “It’s most likely the primary format globally designed with commercials and earnings in thoughts.”
Area of interest Codecs
BCCI is counting on the public sale’s success to bankroll subsidiary codecs like the ladies’s cricket league. The struggle for IPL’s five-year broadcast rights underscores the broader struggle to win eyeballs within the largest client market nonetheless open to international firms. Nonetheless, India has confirmed robust to crack even for the likes of Netflix Inc.
Amazon introduced its intention so as to add stay sports activities on its platform in India together with cricket on the finish of April, whereas Reliance-controlled Viacom18 Media acquired $1.8 billion in funding from a James Murdoch-backed agency because it gears up for the bidding battle.
The demand for IPL proper now’s so scorching that the BCCI has raised the bottom worth above which bids will probably be accepted to $4.2 billion. It has additionally for the primary time managed to promote all sponsorship slots for 2022 matches with backers together with Saudi Arabian Oil Co to Tata Group, in accordance with Shah.
The web public sale format for the lads’s league is a brand new strategy for BCCI and reveals Shah’s makes an attempt to modernize the 94-year-old cricketing physique’s fashion of functioning. Bidders can also pitch just for live-streaming rights or TV broadcast rights. Beforehand, BCCI had offered these rights as a bundle in a closed bidding course of.
“The choice was taken to double the reserve worth for media rights after assessing the rising curiosity within the sport,” Shah mentioned. “We additionally determined to go for an e-auction this 12 months to make the method clear and to make sure most participation.”
Longer Window
The cricket management physique for India, which accounts for about 80% of the game’s international income, is working with the International Cricket Council to extend the IPL season’s window from the present two months on the sporting calendar. An extended window will imply extra matches and better revenues.
A part of the board’s share of the cash raised from the franchise is spent on state-level cricket associations, establishing infrastructure for the sports activities, and different bills, together with pensions and charges for the gamers.
Shah mentioned that on-line streaming would overtake broadcast quickly, and he dismissed the prospect of viewer fatigue — one of many greatest dangers for any sports activities occasion. On-line streaming accounts for under 30% of the sport’s viewership however is on a robust footing after pandemic restrictions and lockdowns compelled folks to observe extra content material over the web.
Shah is assured the upcoming auctions will probably be a cash spinner.
“There will probably be a robust four-cornered struggle for the media rights of the sport,” he mentioned, referring to Amazon, Viacom18 Media, Disney, Sony. “The extra money we elevate, the higher it will get for cricket as we will probably be investing all of it again.”


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