The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has garnered an unprecedented revenue of Rs 48,390 crore for the media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for five years. Despite this, Secretary Jay Shah is not surprised. He stressed that cricket, the most talked-about T20 league, has the potential to contribute more. He said that in the next ‘FTP’ of the ICC, there would be a time of two and a half months for the IPL.
Aggressive bidding for IPL media rights
Jay Shah told PTI that there would be two and a half months window for the IPL in the next Future Tour Program (FTP) of the International Cricket Council (ICC). When asked about aggressive bidding for IPL media rights, Shah said, “I am thrilled with the kind of figures we have. This shows the phenomenal growth potential of Indian cricket.
He said, ‘Promoting Digital India has changed the way cricket is viewed in India. Evidence of this was seen in the bidding for digital rights. This time the BCCI had kept the base price for media rights at Rs 32,500 crore, which was double what it was five years ago. And Shah was sure of getting more money than this.
So that all top international cricketers can participate
“BCCI never felt that the base price was too high. You need to understand that in 2018 there were 60 matches. For the next cycle, we will have 410 games. You also need to investigate digital effects. There were about 56 crore digital viewers in 2017, and in 2021 this number increased to 66.5. You expect it to grow even more in the years to come.
In 2027, 94 matches will be played in the IPL and about its management and impact on international cricket, Shah said, “It is an aspect that we have worked on. Let us tell you that from the following ICC FTP calendar, IPL will have an official window of two and a half months so that all the top international cricketers can participate. We have discussed this with various boards as well as ICC.
Dismissed talk of the decline in viewership
Rejecting the talk of a 30 per cent drop in IPL viewership, he said, “The viewership of IPL in 2020 and 2021 was very high because live cricket was a good medium of entertainment in the era of COVID-19.” This year when the effect of COVID-19 subsided, people started coming out of the house. But this did not reduce the viewership. People enjoyed matches at places like restaurants and pubs. The number of viewers in digital mediums has increased significantly. India’s international cricket will be affected due to the long IPL season, but Shah said that the BCCI is committed to international cricket.
He said, ‘Indian cricket will be vital as long as world cricket is strong. I assure you that. BCCI is committed to international cricket, not just about big series like India vs Australia or India vs England; we are also committed to playing smaller countries. All bilateral international commitments will be respected in all formats. We are playing two T20 Internationals against Ireland this month.