Days after the BCCI secured a staggering over Rs 48,000 crore for Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights for the 2023-27 cycle, former IPL chairman Lalit Modi said in an exclusive interview for NDTV that the IPL the No. 1 sports league in the world. The former franchise cricket league president added that he believes the valuation of IPL media rights will double again in the next cycle.
“It’s the fanbase that has done it (raise the valuation of IPL). I’ve always said it will double in three or four years. The price of IPL will continue to double. If you look at all my interviews from 2008, he said that the IPL value will double in terms of media rights It’s up 98 percent from the last cycle From the last cycle to this cycle it’s 98 percent and I tell you that in the next cycle it will double again said Modi.
“It will definitely catch up and I have always said that sooner or later IPL will become the number 1 sports league. It all depends on the innovation for the OTT platforms, the digital rights. If we are able to do our act digitally will see digital television catch up in terms of viewership and in terms of revenue. I think that in the next five years the digital rights will disappear three to four times that of television. That is, if we do our deed right. “Money will be spent on technology for the digital platforms. The feeling has to change. New technologies will take the user experience to a better level. Right now we’re not doing it. BCCI needs to put the money in.”
Modi added that his prediction that IPL is recession-proof has come true. “The viewership is probably the highest in the world right now in terms of the number of people watching and the eyes drawn to the game. I’ve always maintained, and everyone laughed at me, that IPL is recession proof. Be true, that is recession proof as far as India is concerned. We have newer fan bases joining in. But we have to be careful going forward. As the younger age group is mostly digital that is why the digital rights have soared in price but their experience in India today is not as good as watching on any particular platform,” Modi told NDTV.
“The Jio platform it has is not very user-friendly at the moment. If you rotate the phone from horizontal to vertical, it doesn’t capture that…that loses confidence in the fans.”
Modi was the first chairman and commissioner of the IPL. He was instrumental in running the league from 2008 to 2010. He was also a vice president of the BCCI 2005-10.
The former cricket manager added that infrastructure in Indian cricket stadiums needs to be improved. “The IPL has contributed a total of Rs 100,000 crore to the BCCI. In the past eight years alone, Rs 58,000 crore has been contributed. Fifty percent of the money remains with the BCCI, fifty percent is shared with the IPL franchises. What has BCCI done to the infrastructure? You look at Kotla. They should demolish Kotla. They should demolish most stadiums and build fresh. You can put in world class infrastructure, air conditioning, good toilet, good hygienic dining, good viewing experience, parking garages. You We need that investing money to build a world-class stadium,” he said.
Modi left India in 2010 following allegations of tax evasion, money laundering and proxy ownership and has been based in London for several years. The BCCI suspended him in 2010 following allegations of financial irregularities and then in 2013, Modi was banned for life by the cricket board.
“It (IPL) has really been able to do that (cleanup). It’s going in the right direction with the Gujarat Titans who performed great in the first season from the start. That has shown that there is confidence in the game now. There is no repair more and it has taken a new turn,” he added.
In the IPL media rights e-auction, Disney Star retained the TV broadcasting rights with a bid price of Rs 23,575 crore. “I am delighted to announce that STAR INDIA wins the Indian TV rights with their bid of Rs 23,575 crores. The offer is a direct testimony to the organizational capabilities of the BCCI, despite two pandemic years,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah wrote in a tweet.
“Viacom18 acquires digital rights with its winning bid of Rs 23,758 cr. India has gone through a digital revolution and the sector has endless potential. The digital landscape has changed the way cricket is viewed. It has been a huge factor in the growth of the game & the Digital India vision,” Shah confirmed in another tweet.
Reliance’s Viacom18 won the rights to package C with a winning bid of Rs 3,258 crore. As a result, Viacom, which also won the rights for package B with a payout of Rs 20,500 crore (Rs 50 crore per match for 410 matches), ended up paying Rs 23,758 crore for the entire package of digital rights.
The package D, which included rights for the rest of the world, was won for a bid of Rs 1058 crore.
In the end, it was the BCCI that laughed its way into the bank, raking in a total of Rs 48,390 crore for the packs A, B, C and D.