Soon after the BCCI got a massive amount of over Rs 48,000 crore for the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights for the 2023-27 cycle, former IPL chairman Lalit Modi said that the IPL will become the No. 1 sports league in the world as well. He also added that he believes that IPL media rights valuation will double in the next cycle.
However, at the IPL media rights e-auction, Disney Star has retained the TV telecast rights with a bid price of Rs 23,575 crore as well. On the other hand, STAR INDIA won India TV rights with their bid of Rs 23,575 crores. Meanwhile, Viacom18 bagged the digital rights with its winning bid of Rs 23,758 cr as well.
“It is the fan base that has done it (increase IPL’s valuation). I have always said that in three or four years it will double. The price of IPL will continue to double. If you look at all my interviews from 2008, I said that IPL value will double in terms of media rights. It has gone up by 98 per cent from the last cycle. From the last cycle to this cycle is 98 per cent and I am telling you going forward in the next cycle, it will double again,” Lalit Modi said to NDTV.
He continued: “It will definitely overtake and I have always said IPL will become No. 1 sports league sooner than later. It all depends on the innovation for the OTT platforms, the digital rights. If we are able to do our act right in digital, you will see digital overtaking television in terms of viewership and in terms of revenue. I think the digital rights will go three-four times of television in the next five years. That is if we get our act right. Money should be spent on technology on the digital platforms. The feel has to change. New technologies will bring user experience to a better level. Right now we are not doing it. BCCI needs to put in the money.”
However, Lalit Modi further added that his prediction that IPL is recession-proof has come true as well.
“The viewership is now probably highest in the world in terms of number of people watching and the eye balls getting attracted to the game. I have always maintained, and everybody laughed at me, that IPL is recession proof. It really is coming out to be true that is recession proof as far as India is concerned. We have got newer and newer fan bases that are joining in. But we have to be careful going forward. Because the younger age group is mostly on digital, that is why the digital rights have gone up tremendously in price but their experience has not been so good in India today as far as watching it on a particular platform,” Lalit Modi again shared.
Lalit Modi was the first chairman and commissioner of the IPL and was at the helm of the league from 2008 to 2010. He was also a vice-president of the BCCI from 2005 to 2010 as well. However, he left India in 2010 amid allegations of tax evasion, money laundering and proxy ownership and he is currently based in London as well. The BCCI has suspended him in 2010 after the allegations of financial irregularity and then in 2013, he was banned for life by the cricket governing body as well.