Sports, Cricket

Viacom 18 to pay INR 7.09 crore per match for WIPL media rights

Published : 16 Jan 2023 08:46 PM | Updated : 16 Jan 2023 08:46 PM

Viacom 18 has won the media rights for the inaugural women's IPL for a period of five years following the auction in Mumbai. The company will pay INR 951 crore (USD 116.7 million approx.) for the period - 2023 to 2027 - which BCCI secretary Jay Shah called "massive" while making the announcement on Twitter.

ESPNcricinfo has learned that only two of the eight parties that had bought the tender had turned up for the auction: Viacom 18 and Disney Star*. The winning bid was for both linear TV and digital and were sold globally, including India. Shah said the winning bid amount meant a per-match value of INR 7.09 crore (USD 866,000 approx.) over five years. The men's IPL, in comparison, fetched a five-year deal of INR 48,390.5 crore (USD 6.2 billion approx. at the time) in June last year with a per-match value of INR 58 crore (USD 7.43 million approx.).

"After pay equity, today's bidding for media rights for Women's IPL marks another historic mandate," Shah said on Twitter. "It's a big and decisive step for empowerment of women's cricket in India, which will ensure participation of women from all ages. A new dawn indeed!"

Shah further said the deal would "revolutionise women's cricket" globally. "I am really thrilled that we have had such an encouraging response for a league that will revolutionise women's cricket not just in India but across the globe," he said in statement. "This is a commitment I had made to the board and our women cricketers and today we have taken one big leap. 

The broadcasters play a key role in taking the game to a wider audience and their active interest in the league is a clear indication that the Women's Indian Premier League is headed in the right direction."

The per-match value of INR 7.09 crore was calculated for 22 matches per season across the first three years, followed by a possible increase to 34 matches from 2026 when the BCCI, based on the performance of the women's IPL, could look at adding a sixth franchise.

"Women's cricket has been on the up since a few years and the recently concluded bilateral series against Australia is a great testament to how popular women's cricket has become in India," BCCI president Roger Binny said in a release. "It was only apt to get our own women's T20 league and give the fans more of women's cricket."

The two major differences between the sale of the men's and the women's media rights were that the women's rights did not have a base price unlike the men's, and that the men's rights were split across multiple categories and regions in an auction process that spanned three days.