Media Rights Deal
Since the inception in 2008, the domestic cricket league in India, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has become a revenue making machine in the sports world. Creating a shorter and more appealing match time with only 20 overs, the format has taken over the popularity of the viewership around the world compared to more traditional formats of Cricket.
The IPL started its media rights deal with Sony back in 2008 with a ten-year agreement for $1 billion at the time.
The Indian Premier league which starts on March 20th recently sold its broadcasting and streaming rights to Disney and Viacom18 for $6 billion till 2027. This recent deal now makes the IPL’s media rights larger than the current deals of the NBA, English Premier League, MLB amongst all others except the NFL which is still the financial king of the sports world.
With the new product development of ESPN broadcasting IPL in America, the appeal to watch one of the most entertaining sports leagues in the world will only go higher.
Given that India now has the world’s largest population at 1.4 billion people, the consumer market for IPL is growing at such a rapid pace.
The Power of the Indian Cricket Board
The IPL is controlled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Indian cricket board has since become the most powerful body in the world of Cricket, even more powerful than the head governing body, International Cricket Board (ICC). The IPLs growth has caused the BCCI to monopolize the dominance of cricket globally through media rights and allowing India to become the universal center of cricket.
More so, the BCCI prevents Indian players from playing in other foreign T20 leagues due to their main focus of having players play for the Indian national team and IPL as a priority. BCCI has been criticized for the power they now hold in Cricket due to their handling of tournaments and international series in every corner of the world.
Indian Cricket has been heavily revolved around political measures since the inception as a nation since 1947. The partition that split India and Pakistan into two nations has sparked one of the world’s greatest sports rivalries of all time. More than a billion people tune in anytime the two nations play each other in a tournament.
When the Indian Premier league started in 2008, players from Pakistan were playing within the teams as their stardom and talent were recognized and respected. Due to the massive political conflicts between both nations, BCCI banned all Pakistani players from playing in the IPL.
The $150+ Billion Black Market Gambling Industry
While India has not legalized sports betting, the black-market gambling industry was estimated to be close to $150 billion, and that number has probably risen higher. India’s black-market gambling industry is amongst one of the world’s largest gambling markets in the world. The Indian Premier League and international cricket which are deemed almost a religion in the country have been heavily responsible for this huge amount of illegal wagering to continue.