IPL media rights cost broadcasters more than English football league

Aggressive bidding for the rights for India’s most-watched cricket tournament has made the competition more expensive to broadcast than England’s top-flight football.

Walt Disney Co. secured television rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) while Viacom18 Media Pvt., a joint venture between Paramount Global Ltd. and Mukesh Ambani’s

., landed the tournament’s digital streaming license for a total 483.9 billion rupees ($6.2 billion), according to people with knowledge of the matter.

This amount breaks down to $15.1 million per match, while the rights for England’s Premier League cost $11 million for each game, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the local governing body for the sport. The IPL pips the top baseball and basketball leagues in the US too, but trails the National Football League’s $17-million per match.

Luring more than 600 million viewers this year, the IPL is seen as a key catalyst to boost subscribers in a market with almost 1.4 billion people. The latest bidding round raised nearly three times the amount collected at the previous auction in 2017.

“There are media companies that are looking at IPL as the most important sporting event in the world,” Tarun Pathak, research director at consultancy Counterpoint Research, told Bloomberg Television. “You’re getting the maximum eyeballs from a young nation. The key message here is that companies are betting on India’s future.”

— With assistance from Anto Antony.

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