MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) – without doubt Indian sport’s most hyped up property – has just grown by a billion dollars.
11 years after its launch, the brand just keeps getting bigger and bigger and continues to attract more viewers and advertisers.
A report from Duff & Phelps, the global valuation and corporate finance advisors, who come out with an annual report on the cash-rich tournament every year, says that after the 11th season, the value of the IPL has seen a 19% jump to $6.3 billion. In 2017, Duff & Phelps had valued the Indian T20 tournament at $5.3 billion, up from $4.16 billion in 2016.
The 2018 edition of the IPL saw a new broadcast partner in Star India, who’re paying a whopping committed Rs 16,347.5 crore for the rights over next five years. This deal at par with the fee broadcasters pay for some of the other top leagues of the world.
This season of the IPL saw many thrilling games, and the return of two original teams – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals – to the IPL fold after two-year absence.
An exciting season, which saw the playoff spots decided on the last day of the league stage, saw the tournament culminate in a win for CSK in Mumbai. The report also mentions that this was also the first year when almost all the matches were sold-out.
MI, KKR in $100 million club
Two of the most popular franchises of the IPL – Mumbai Indians (brand value of $113 million), and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), with a brand value of $104 million – joined the $100 million club.
CSK, which was powered by former India skipper MS Dhoni, was valued at $98.0 million along with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Sunrisers Hyderabad ($70 million), Delhi Daredevils ($52 million), Kings XI Punjab ($52 million) and Rajasthan Royals ($43 million) follow in the brand rankings.
“Star India’s broadcasting rights deal was a game changer that put IPL on par with some of the biggest sporting leagues in the world (on a fee per match basis),” commented Varun Gupta, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps and Asia Pacific Leader for Valuation Services.
“The change in content consumption, influx of over-the-top (OTT) and digital viewing platforms and increased support from advertisers, broadcasters and sponsors have given the IPL greater significance in terms of brand value.”
Star India Private Limited (SIPL), the new broadcasting partner for the IPL, has given a boost to the broadcast rights fees which increased by a CAGR of 18.9%. Under Star, content delivery expanded to various regional channels across the SIPL universe with commentary in eight different languages, rather than limiting the transmission to sports channels with just English commentary.
Santosh N, managing director, Duff & Phelps said, “Our IPL brand values report reflects the evolution of the modern cricket business paradigm with clubs benefiting from not only the enduring popularity of cricket in India but also from strong marketing and globalization of the game.
“However, for growth trajectories to maintain their momentum, all teams need to continue broadening their footprint, forming relationships and generating revenue opportunities in growth markets. Ultimately, however, much of cricket’s future depends on ensuring the product is of a sufficiently high quality to continue attracting viewers, sponsors and broadcasters, the latter of which have become a vital component for the game’s financial health.”
This season also witnessed the importance of OTT sports viewership which has become an established and fast-growing market. Hotstar set a world record of OTT viewership with 10.7 million concurrent viewers, beating the 2012 world record of over 8 million concurrent viewers held by YouTube for Felix Baumgartner’s space jump. This surge in online streaming of IPL and the increasing momentum of OTT as a medium to watch sports online was also one of the key reasons for companies to show willingness to acquire digital rights for streaming IPL.
Finally, social media continues to be an important driver of brand value. The first week of the previous season of IPL garnered 642,900 mentions on social media platforms. That has gone up to 855,400 in the first week of the 2018 season and to 1.3 million after two weeks.