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IPL looking at expansion in countries like UK and USA

IPL looking at expansion in countries like UK and USA

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Published: 22 May 2018 5:25 AM GMT
Ambition is quite a good thing especially when it comes to a tournament that has seen an exponential growth since its time of inception. Speaking to AFP, the chairman of the Indian Premier League Rajiv Shukla has praised the unprecedented rise of the league in India even as he outlines plans for expansion in countries like Dubai. With the IPL reaching the end of its 11th season soon, Shukla was quoted by AFP as saying that the league was doing "wonderfully well". And this statement does not come as a surprise. The recent signing of a generous broadcast deal with Star Network, owned by Rupert Murdochhas seen a contract of the amount of  $2.55-billion over a period of five years. By extension, this makes the league among the wealthiest ones in any sport and it further cements the status of India as a global cricketing superpower. But now, the benchmarks have changed.
Shukla has not set his sights on matching up viewership and earning figures with two of the most watched leagues in the world- football's English Premier League (EPL) and America's National Basketball Association (NBA).
"We are not able to figure out where it (broadcast rights and sponsorship) will peak ... but I think after the EPL, this is the most important league. It can match any league," said Shukla. There have been several unique strategies which have been applied for the league in the past couple of seasons. Cities in India with crazy fan following of the teams which do not get a chance to host matches are treated to fan events and official broadcasts by the franchise. This ensures massive, wide spread participation by the audience and goes a long way in keeping the fever alive for the entirety of the tournament. But here, a comparison of figures may be prudent. The
Cricket Australia
website quotes figures as per industry information saying that the IPL's 60 games over seven weeks earn about $8.5 million per game in television revenues. These figures are for India alone. On the other hand, "each EPL football match earns more than $11 million in the UK, with millions more from foreign broadcast rights," the report continues. However, while an average EPL match is watched by an approximate 12 million people around the world, the 2017 IPL final had almost 40 million viewers. The American NFL, though, averages around 20 million viewers in every match which are probably the highest for any sport league. But, Shukla remains confident of the league's booming success. "The fan following and the viewers are increasing every year. In terms of revenue, it's also doing wonderfully well," he said.
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