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IPL Media Rights Auction | Viacom18 bags digital bundle at Rs 20,500 crore for 2023-27 cycle

Auction for IPL's digital rights was fierce as it went for rebidding when Disney Star challenged Viacom18 with a counter bid of Rs 49 crore per match which was surpassed by Viacom18 that closed the bidding with Rs 50 crore per game. On the broadcast rights front, Disney Star won the rights at Rs 57.5 crore per game.

June 13, 2022 / 11:14 PM IST
The BCCI is expected to make Rs 40,000 crore to Rs 50,000 crore in media rights deals for the IPL 2023-27 cycle. (Image: IPL)

The BCCI is expected to make Rs 40,000 crore to Rs 50,000 crore in media rights deals for the IPL 2023-27 cycle. (Image: IPL)

Viacom18 has bagged the digital rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Rs 20,500 crore for the 2023-27 cycle at the media rights auction held on June 12 and June 13.

The broadcast rights went to Disney Star for Rs 23,575 crore, and experts note that the network overpaid for the TV rights with a 30 percent premium over the base price of Rs 18,130 crore.

At the media rights auction, all eyes were on digital which is seeing the fastest growth in value. In the 2018-2022 media rights cycle, digital's value stood at Rs 4,040 crore, and TV rights at Rs 11,410 crore. In the upcoming media rights cycle that includes 410 matches, digital with Rs 20,500 crore has come close to TV at Rs 23,575 crore.

"Digital segment has potential to grow at over 30 percent, helped by increased penetration and consumption trends," said Karan Taurani, senior vice-president, Elara Capital.

Digital is growing faster than TV in terms of advertising expenditure. TV is expected to grow by 7-8 percent while digital is estimated to grow by 25-30 percent, say experts.


Along with ad spends, IPL's viewership over the years on digital has been increasing. It was 421 million last year as compared to 375 million and 325 million in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The league's digital viewership is expected to see the highest growth with analysts estimating it to touch 523 million in 2023.

Taurani said that IPL's digital viewership has been increasing and may grow to 722 million by FY28. "The overall smartphone user base in India is expected to grow to 1.3 billion in 2028. Thus, the digital viewership penetration may grow at a faster clip compared with TV viewership."

With Reliance Industries-owned Viacom18 winning the digital rights, IPL is likely to attract more viewers. Reliance's telecommunications company Jio has over 400 million customers. In addition, around 85 percent of viewership volumes of certain over-the-top (OTT) platforms were generated by telcos, said a FICCI-EY 2022 report. The report expects around 400 million consumers to consume content via telco and aggregator bundles by 2025.

Many broadcasters were eyeing the digital rights to drive their digital strategy. Players such as Zee Entertainment, Viacom18, Sony Pictures Networks India and Star Disney have all been focusing on growing their streaming business. According to analysts, IPL leads to a significant surge in metrics like monthly active users (MAU) and daily active users (DAU) for any OTT platform.

Analysts expected this year's IPL to see 30-35 percent growth in advertising revenue, as overall digital spends are expected to cross TV spends by 2023. Digital’s share of overall IPL ad revenue is also expected to increase.

In 2022, it is estimated that 54.5 percent of IPL revenue came from TV advertising, 10.9 percent from TV subscription, 21.8 percent from OTT subscription and 12.7 percent from OTT advertising. This is expected to change to 50.8 percent from TV advertising, 9.6 percent from TV subscription, 24.3 percent from OTT subscription and 15.3 percent from ads on OTT.

On digital, every IPL match fetches around Rs 5-6 crore in terms of advertising revenue. Analysts note that sports have an 18-20 percent share in digital ad revenue while on TV, its share is 10-12 percent.

Along with TV and digital, the upcoming media rights cycle is offering two more rights including digital rights for 18 games, comprising the opening match, four playoff games and 13 evening double header matches. This package is non-exclusive and has a base price of Rs 16 crore per game.

The last package is for TV and digital rights for the rest of the world with a base price of Rs 3 crore per match. The bidder who wins Package one will have the right to rebid for the second package, and the winner of Package two will have the right to rebid for the third package.

Disclosure: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.

Maryam Farooqui
first published: Jun 13, 2022 11:06 pm
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