IPL Media Rights Auction: Disney-Star, Viacom18 Big Winners As BCCI Pockets Eye-watering INR 48,390 Crore

Indian Premier League media rights sold for record-breaking amount as BCCI's T20 cricket league becomes even richer.

The IPL media rights e-auction started on Sunday morning.

Finally! The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday revealed the winners of the IPL media rights e-auction after three days of action. And the big winners are Disney-owned Star India and Viacom18-Reliance. (More Cricket News)

Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, took to Twitter to confirm the winners. He wrote: "I am thrilled to announce that STAR INDIA wins India TV rights with their bid of Rs 23,575 crores. The bid is a direct testimony to the BCCI’s organizational capabilities despite two pandemic years."

India TV rights is the top package (A). Star India will now have the Indian sub-continent exclusive TV (broadcast) rights. The BCCI had set the base price for the TV rights for the Indian sub-continent at Rs 49 crore per game.

Meaning, Star India doled out Rs 57.50 cr per match to retain IPL TV rights for the Indian subcontinent.

Walt Disney released a statement saying it "made disciplined bids with a focus on long-term value. We chose not to proceed with the digital rights given the price required to secure that package."

"IPL is an important component of our portfolio of television channels in India, providing an incredible opportunity for us to showcase The Walt Disney Company’s powerful global brands and iconic storytelling, as well as Disney Star’s impressive collection of local original content, to millions of viewers in India."

Also revealing Viacom18's winning bid for Category B, Shah said that "India has seen a digital revolution & the sector has endless potential. The digital landscape has changed the way cricket is watched. It has been a big factor in the growth of the game & the Digital India vision."

Viacom18 - backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani - secured the streaming/ digital rights for Rs 23,758 cr. The base price for the digital rights for the Indian sub-continent was set at Rs 33 crore per game.

Category C, which is for 18 selected games in each season for digital, also goes to Viacom18-Reliance for Rs 3,257.52 cr (Rs 33.24 cr per match for 98 matches). The base price for this 18-match was Rs 11 crore per game.

Category D was sold for Rs 1324 crore to Viacom18 and Times Internet. This category covers all games and will be for combined TV and digital rights for overseas. The base price was INR 3 crore per game. Regions for Viacom-Reliance -- Australia and New Zealand, the UK, and South Africa; Regions for Times Internet -- the Middle East, and the USA.

This auction is for the next five-year cycle (2023 to 2027).

It's worth noting that for the first time, the BCCI had split the IPL's TV and digital rights.

Launched in 2008, IPL not only became BCCI's cash cow but also emerged as the world's premier cricket league. Its emergence spawned in a spurt of many T20 leagues sponsored and run by different cricket boards. But none come closer to it, in every aspect - from glitterati to participation.

No doubt, the world's premier T20 cricket league is now among the highest-ranked sport leagues, alongside the National Football League (American football) in the US and the English Premier League.

In its latest edition, one of the two debutant teams -- Gujarat Titans -- have won the title thus effectively killing the argument that the increase in the teams and games will dilute the quality of cricket.

It's safe to assume that it's only becoming bigger.