“How do you see this IPL Media Rights 2023-27 Auction”, Jay Shah Answers

Jay Shah
Jay Shah

BCCI secretary Jay Shah explains how BCCI has planned to spend the IPL media rights 2023-27 revenue – INR 48,390 crores in an interview with a cricket news website.

The IPL media rights 2023-27 touches a new high after the e-auction ends at INR 48,390.32 crores. IPL is now the 2nd most valued sporting league in the world in terms of per match value.

Jay Shah Interview on IPL Media Rights 2023-27 Auction

Excerpts from the interview:

How do you look at the IPL auction? What has been the biggest takeaway from this entire auction experience?

There are many takeaways from the Media Rights auction but if you ask me to pinpoint one, it is the surge in digital.

The numbers for digital have exceeded TV rights and it tells you that the cricket-viewing experience has made a big shift. Be it sports, entertainment, or even your daily news, the personal device is now taking precedence over the traditional medium.

Did BCCI expect this big a sum in total when setting up the process?

Before we released the ITT document, we conducted several studies and surveys and roped in professional agencies to guide us further on the prevailing market structure, its mood vis-a-vis the growth of IPL and its position globally.

The IPL is the biggest property in world cricket and was among the top 5 sporting leagues in the world and everybody in the Board expected a high sum that a premium property like the IPL commands.

The per match calculation is coming to Rs 118 crore, which is more than 136 per cent of last cycle’s count. It is turning out to be the biggest per match value after the NFL. What do you attribute this rise to?

Many factors have contributed to the progressive growth of the IPL. The three biggest reasons are the world-class cricket on display and fan engagement.

Right from the first season, the fans have rallied around the teams and have loved the concept of this unique tournament. Its popularity has grown over the years and the Board has pulled out all stops to ensure that IPL’s continuity is maintained.

When the BCCI conducted the 13th and 14th seasons of the IPL despite the pandemic restrictions, the stakeholders acknowledged the gigantic operation. The trust and faith of our investors grew manifold.

Sporting activities across the globe had come to a halt but we still conducted two seasons in the UAE by putting in place a very secured bio-bubble.

Over 30,000 RT-PCR tests were conducted, and our expenses nearly doubled but we still went ahead and conducted two seasons during a very difficult phase.

What was the reasoning behind introducing Package C which turned out to be a game-changer?

In 2008 when the IPL started, digital rights were considered an offshoot; we are now in 2022 and India has witnessed a digital revolution.

The digital content platforms have changed the landscape. As I mentioned in my tweet, the potential in this sector is endless. The advent of 5G will take it to another level. We had put in considerable thought before announcing two sets of digital rights.

The competition among the OTT platforms is intense and the new category meant that more bidders could still be in the race even if they missed out on Package B, which is the exclusive rights.

What is your view on having two different broadcast partners now? Is it beneficial for them, do they see it as being beneficial for the viewers?

The NFL is the biggest sporting league in the world and it has five different broadcast partners. If you remember, we were close to having multiple broadcasters during the last cycle itself before Star’s consolidated bid outbid others.

Having multiple broadcast partners means the game will reach a wider pool of audience and it will grow further. The BCCI has a duty to promote the game within India and globally. It surely benefits the audience as cricket-loving fans will now have more access to IPL matches.

How do you see this auction and the price paid changing the global cricket market?

The IPL has laid down a marker for other cricket leagues, for the global market and also for major sporting leagues in terms of broadcast and the future of sports.

There have been instances where conglomerates have purchased the ITT to understand the structure and get an insight into broadcasting valuations. International cricket works a lot differently while the IPL is a completely different tournament.

With so much investment, do you see the possibility of expanding the IPL in the future in terms of teams?

We have just had two new teams coming into the IPL fold and both were amazing. While Gujarat Titans won the title, Lucknow Super Giants made it to the playoffs and were even No. 1 team on quite a few occasions during the league stage.

It was a tight contest to get to the playoffs. Expansion of the IPL in terms of teams depends on many factors and for now, the league will continue to have 10 teams.

The deal has been praised for its transparency but was the e-auction difficult to pull off?

We were very clear that the process that we go ahead with must be fully transparent and that is why it was suggested that we take the E-Auction route.

The bidders were only seeing figures on their screens. I am pleased with the way it turned out. There were difficulties initially but as I had said we had done our research before we released the ITT and were confident that this method will fetch us optimum value.

Did you expect more participation from other global media platforms such as Amazon and Google?

We had both Indian and global media companies showing interest in the ITT at the time of the auction.

The game of cricket must continue to grow and we have to reach out to as many fans as possible via different platforms. Our auction process and the four packages were also designed in a way that it would allow for maximum participation from the interested parties.

As the Board secretary, it isn’t right for me to talk about any particular platforms and their strategy, but it is always better to have more bidders competing.

The BCCI has hinted at 84 or 94 games. Is a window possible for so many games?

We have been talking with our fellow Member Boards and the ICC about having a bigger dedicated window for the IPL.

The IPL is a marquee event on the annual cricket calendar, and it is now only behind the NFL. The quality of cricket that you witness in IPL is world-class with senior international stars coming and playing with and against their Indian counterparts.

Not just cricketers but the IPL has some legends of the game now turning up as coaches. It is a fantastic platform and benefits everyone as the experience one gets here is priceless. There will be an increase in the number of games as we go ahead.