26 MAR 2024

Omdia: Indian Premier League set to transform country’s media and ad landscape in 2024

The last media rights five-year contract was valued at $1.2 billion annually, but the IPL is poised to monetize these massive rights costs through ad and sponsorship, rather than subscription revenue.

26 MAR 2024

Indian Premier League

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen its media rights value skyrocket, with the latest five-year contract commencing in 2023 valued at $1.2 billion annually according to Omdia’s Why 2024 could prove to be a high-water mark for the Indian Premier League. This impressive development highlights the league’s remarkable growth trajectory, making it the fastest-growing major sports property globally.

Early 2024 has, however, seen the IPL rights landscape change substantially. “The IPL has emerged as a pivotal factor in the recent merger between Disney and Reliance, alongside Paramount’s decision to divest its stake in Viacom18. This development underscores the IPL’s towering influence on media consolidation and its burgeoning role in shaping the future of sports broadcasting and advertising in India,” comments Daoud Jackson, Senior Analyst for Media and Entertainment at Omdia.

The IPL is poised to monetize these massive rights costs through advertising and sponsorship, rather than subscription revenue. The position of the IPL at the forefront of India’s current advertising innovation market remains intact and there are signs that 2024 will be a record year for advertising around the event, with greater market confidence than in 2023 across India’s commercial landscape, and with broadcasters announcing more new ways to drive revenue. The Disney/Reliance merger is expected to close in 2025, and advertising revenues for the 2025 Indian Premier League will rise marginally over 2024. Reliance will likely be able to raise rates in the absence of competition due to the consolidation of digital and linear rights, and the combined company will likely have control of around 40% of the total advertising market. Revenues will also increase with an improved number of games scheduled in 2024.

While the IPL continues to draw large audiences and generate significant advertising revenues inside the Indian subcontinent, its global reach is still relatively small in comparison to the enormous English Premier League (EPL) footprint. “Media rights for each game are worth roughly $16 million, an eye-watering amount which is more than the average $15.7 million for a Premier League game,” comments Tim Westcott, Practice Lead for Omdia Digital Content and Channels. “The IPL still has a way to go to make the PL’s international reach, although team owners are heavily involved in new T20 franchises in the Middle East, South Africa and the US.”

This contradiction draws attention to the IPL's journey ahead to become a global sports league, extending beyond its regional stronghold. In order to close this gap and establish itself alongside the EPL in the worldwide sports arena, it is essential for the IPL to focus its strategy on growing its global viewership and improving its international appeal.