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Viacom18 lands global broadcast rights for Indian cricket in US$720m deal

Media group secures 88 matches over five years for streaming and television.

1 Sep 2023 Steve McCaskill
Jasprit Bumrah

Getty Images

  • Viacom18 secured streaming rights for IPL last year
  • Value of deal is lower than last cycle

Viacom18 has strengthened its cricket portfolio by securing the global digital and television rights to Indian cricket in a five-year deal worth I₹5,963 crore (US$720 million) to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The partnership starts immediately and includes 88 matches between September 2023 and 2028. These include all home Test, one day international (ODI), and Twenty20 matches played by Indian national teams.

Viacom18 was joined in the auction by both Disney Star and Sony, and will pay I₹67.75 crore (US$8.2m) per game, a 13 per cent increase over the previous I₹60 ($US7.2m) crore per match paid by Disney’s Star in the last cycle, and more than the base prices set by the BCCI.

However, the overall value of the deal is less than the previous cycle which included 14 more matches. It is also significantly lower than the total I₹48,390 crore (US$6.2 billion) paid by Viacom18 for the streaming rights and Disney Star for the domestic TV rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) between 2023 and 2027.

“The recent BCCI e-auction has unequivocally demonstrated the vigour of cricket in India,” said Roger Binney, president of the BCCI. “The remarkable journey of Indian cricket, its meteoric rise on the global sporting arena, owes its success to the unwavering trust that people have vested in the BCCI leadership and its dedicated workforce.

“With the staunch support and collaboration of every stakeholder within our cricketing ecosystem, I am confident that we will continue to propel the brand BCCI to uncharted territories on the global sports stage.”

SportsPro says…

Viacom18’s victory cements its position as a leading cricketing broadcaster in India, building on its acquisition of both the IPL and Women’s Premier League (WPL) to strengthen the wider group’s media portfolio.

However, the value of the overall contract reflects the declining influence of bilateral cricket in the sport’s biggest market. While demand for International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments remains apparent, it is only England and, to a lesser extent, Australia where bilateral rights can be discussed in the same breath as franchise-based T20 leagues.  

The IPL is a commercial and cultural juggernaut and unequivocally the most important property in the Indian market. The failure of Disney to secure streaming rights for Hotstar has led to a dramatic decrease in subscribers for the service.

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