Viacom 18 wins BCCI media rights for cricket broadcasting in India for next 5 years

Viacom 18 wins BCCI media rights for cricket broadcasting in India for next 5 years

Viacom 18 has outpaced Disney Star and Sony by securing both linear and digital rights for approximately Rs 5,963 crore for the upcoming cycle.

In a recent seismic shift in the world of cricket broadcasting, Viacom 18 has emerged as the undisputed giant, outshining competitors like Disney Star and Sony. The company secured both linear and digital rights for an astounding sum of approximately Rs 5,963 crore in the upcoming cycle. This resounding victory ensures that Indian cricket will find a new home on Viacom 18 for the next five years.

Viacom 18, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, clinched the rights to broadcast BCCI’s matches on both television and digital platforms through an online auction conducted on Thursday. This monumental acquisition means that every match played by India within the country’s borders, along with domestic cricket, will be exclusively showcased on Viacom 18. The network already holds the rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world’s most lucrative cricket tournament, on digital platforms. Moreover, they’ve secured the rights to broadcast the Women’s Premier League (WPL).

This latest agreement values each international match within the cycle at an astonishing Rs 67.75 crore, representing a significant increase from the previous cycle when Star India paid BCCI Rs 60 crore per match. However, it’s worth noting that the total value of the previous cycle’s winning bid was Rs 6,138 crore, encompassing more games (102 compared to 88) than in the current agreement.

While anticipation ran high with expectations of the winning bid per match reaching around Rs 85 crore, it ultimately settled at a level still substantial, showing an 11 percent increase from the previous cycle’s amount. The battle for broadcasting rights continues to intensify, with Viacom 18 securing a pivotal position in this lucrative arena.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah expressed his elation, stating, “I am absolutely thrilled and profoundly proud to witness the extraordinary ascent of the BCCI brand. Today’s e-auction has elevated BCCI to unprecedented heights in terms of per-match media rights valuation, marking a momentous leap in our journey.”

In an interesting comparison, Viacom 18 had secured digital rights for the IPL at a staggering Rs 26,000 crore last year. Strikingly, the monetary worth of an international cricket match played in India until March 31, 2028, is significantly lower than that of an IPL fixture, standing at around 118 crores. This indicates that, in the eyes of broadcasters and bidders, the franchise league unquestionably surpasses international cricket.

The disparity in value can be attributed to only a handful of high-profile series, such as those against England and Australia, garnering substantial viewership. The indefinite freeze on bilateral cricket against Pakistan further diminishes the appeal of contests against other teams among casual cricket enthusiasts. While they may keep an eye on the matches, they do not necessarily stay glued to the proceedings all day long, which does not significantly boost advertising revenue.

Viacom 18’s dominance extends beyond this acquisition. The network has significantly reshaped the digital sports broadcasting landscape in India, thanks to the influence of the Jio network. Disney Star, which currently telecasts the Asia Cup, is set to broadcast the forthcoming 50-over World Cup as it holds the rights for ICC events in the ongoing cycle.

This monumental broadcasting deal encompasses a staggering 25 Tests, 27 ODIs, and 36 T20Is. The bidding process unfolded in two categories: one for TV rights exclusively within the Indian subcontinent, with a base price of Rs 20 crore, and the other for digital rights spanning the Indian subcontinent along with TV and digital rights for the rest of the world, with a base price of Rs 25 crore. The battle for supremacy in cricket broadcasting is more intense than ever, with Viacom 18 seizing a pivotal position in this fiercely competitive arena.

This latest episode adds another remarkable chapter to Viacom 18’s steadfast commitment to Indian cricket. In the previous year’s IPL media rights bidding, they secured digital rights for the Indian subcontinent and acquired TV and digital rights across three influential global regions – Australia + New Zealand, the UK, and South Africa – for a monumental sum of Rs 23,758 crore. Their assertiveness further shone when they outpaced Disney Star to secure the global media rights for the WPL, a triumphant move that required a substantial investment of Rs 951 crore for the period spanning 2023-27. Viacom 18’s unwavering investment in cricket solidifies their position as a formidable player in the world of sports broadcasting.

Thursday’s developments serve as yet another testament to the growing marketing prowess that India commands in the world of cricket. Beyond the astonishing valuations of matches conducted within India’s borders, it’s the tours by the Indian team to other nations that serve as the primary revenue source for those respective cricket boards. Notably, most ICC sponsors are Indian companies or entities deeply engaged in significant business activities within the nation. India’s matches remain the crown jewels of any major tournament, coveted and sought after regardless of the tournament’s geographical location. This underlines India’s profound influence and supremacy in the world of cricket.

As a noteworthy aside, the staggering amounts flowing into the BCCI’s coffers through the sale of media rights might explain why the paying spectator in the stadium isn’t at the forefront of its priorities. Despite these colossal earnings, ticket sales and the overall stadium experience still fall significantly short of expectations, leaving room for improvement in the spectator’s overall cricketing journey.

Also Read:IND vs PAK Asia Cup 2023 : Match Preview, Pitch Report, Weather Report, Playing XI, Prediction, Dream11 Team & Fantasy Tips | India vs Pakistan

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