Viacom18 has won the bid to telecast women’s IPL. BCCI is in full support of the female sports format.
The new women’s Indian Premier League cricket tournament’s television and digital broadcasting rights have been acquired by Viacom18 Media Pvt., which is backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani and hoping to take advantage of the feverish interest in the fast-paced format and rising popularity of female sports.
The five-year rights were purchased for 9.51 billion rupees ($116 million) by a joint venture between Paramount Global and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., the Board of Control for Cricket in India, or BCCI, for women’s IPL.
For the period of 2023 to 2027, the firm would pay INR 951 crore (about USD 116.7 million), which BCCI secretary Jay Shah referred to as “huge” when announcing the announcement on Twitter. Only two of the eight firms that had purchased the tender, Viacom 18 and Disney Star*, showed up for the auction, according to ESPNcricinfo. Both digital and linear TV were sold worldwide, including India, in the winning offer.
The winning offer sum equated to a five-year value of INR 7.09 crore (about USD 866,000) each match. Contrarily, the men’s IPL secured a five-year deal last year in June for INR 48,390.5 crore (about USD 6.2 billion at the time), with a per-match worth of INR 58 crore (USD 7.43 million approx.).
This is the first time the local sports organisation has put together a women’s T20 cricket competition, modeled after the hugely successful men’s IPL, which broadcast rights the BCCI sold for $6.2 billion the previous year. In a competitive auction, Viacom18 spent roughly $3.1 billion for the men’s IPL streaming rights alone, while Walt Disney Co. Paid $3 billion to win the TV broadcast rights. The appeal of the arrangement for the broadcaster will undoubtedly be influenced by Viacom18’s capacity to cross-promote its coverage of the men’s and women’s IPL.
The newest rights acquired by Reliance Industries demonstrate that Ambani wants a larger audience in the almost 1.4 billion-strong cricket-mad nation to support his media and telecom firms, with customers consuming more content via smartphones. Female players are clamoring more and more for increased influence and higher pay as women’s professional sports gain popularity.
Women who play cricket for India will receive the same compensation as men. This month, the influential BCCI issued a tender call for franchises to own and manage an IPL women’s team, which represents roughly 80% of the sport’s global earnings. Cricketers for women would receive the same match money as males, according to Jay Shah, honorary secretary of the BCCI, who made this announcement in October.
22 matches per season were computed for the first three years, resulting in a per-match value of INR 7.09 crore. From 2026, when the BCCI may consider adding a sixth franchise based on the performance of the women’s IPL, the number of matches may increase to 34. The popularity of women’s cricket in India has increased significantly over the past few years, as seen by the recently ended bilateral series against Australia. Having our own women’s T20 competition made sense and would provide the fans with more opportunities to see women’s cricket.
Along with increasing diversity, the BCCI is introducing the event as a new way to monetise the shorter T20 format, in which matches last only a few hours, as opposed to days-long test cricket. According to BCCI estimations, the IPL trails only the English Premier League and the National Football League in terms of viewership.
According to Ampere Analysis, the media rights to the women’s IPL are the second-highest agreement for a female sports league in the world, behind the US women’s National Basketball Association, at $23 million per season. Not just in India, but all over the world, the new competition will transform women’s cricket. The road has officially begun, and this month, when the five franchises are named, we will make another significant step.