The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has enriched itself with Rs 4699.99 crore. Since the board launched its plan to launch a women’s T20 league on the lines of the Indian Premier League, major corporate houses have shown interest in owning all five sports teams. When the bidding took place in Mumbai on Wednesday, the BCCI made another big bid.
The Women’s Premier League (WPL) will have five teams in its debut season, with clubs headquartered in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, and Lucknow. The player auction slate is for February, while the competition is for March.
And even before a ball bowled, the WPL has earned BCCI Rs 5,650.99 crore, and its broadcast rights (bought by Viacom for Rs 951 crore) have already made it the second-biggest T20 league after the IPL. Makes it Not even the Big Bash League, The Hundred or any other national T20 league comes close to these numbers.
Adani Group made the highest offer of Rs. 1289 crores in an all-out effort to acquire the Ahmedabad franchise. Adani Sportsline Pvt Ltd entered the Indian cricket ecosystem after losing out on owning an IPL franchise when two additional clubs launched in 2022.
The next three highest bids came from IPL franchises keen to establish their roots in the women’s game. While Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants stayed away from bidding, the rest showed interest and bid. And among them, Mumbai Indians (Rs 912 crore), Royal Challengers Bangalore (Rs 901 crore) and Delhi Capitals (Rs 810 crore) took the top spot and took a franchise. All three have chosen the same base of operations as their male team.
The fifth franchise went to Capri Global, which bought the Lucknow franchise for Rs 757 crore. Kolkata offered Rs 666 crore, which was way off the table. The lowest bid on the table believes in having come from Rajasthan Royals, who bid Rs 180 crore, which is Rs 1109 crore less than Adani’s winning bid.
The amount of Rs 4,699.99 crore surprised many in the BCCI. When the IPL franchise was first sold in 2007, Mumbai Indians was the costliest franchise for Rs 446 crore. It is not even half of the top three franchises in the WPL.
It ushers in a revolution in women’s cricket and prepares our female players and the entire sporting community for a transforming journey. Women’s cricket will undergo much-needed reforms thanks to the WPL, which will also create a supportive ecosystem for all parties involved, »Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, stated in a tweet.
Market analyst N Santhosh, who has been studying the IPL brand for years, told The Indian Express, “These numbers are completely astonishing.” “If you look at it, on average, it is Rs 1000 crore per team, which is huge. I am sure the IPL brand has had a profound impact on WPL. Maybe it’s on its own. But it will be fascinating to see how much return they get.
Under the agreement, the revenue-sharing model between the BCCI and the franchises is 20:80 for the first five years. Thanks to the Rs 951 broadcast deal, the five franchises will get Rs 25-30 crore per season but will still have to pay the franchise fee to the BCCI. When the IPL’s implement, all the franchises lost in the initial years before Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders broke through earlier than expected.
After investing such a large amount in WPL, a hitherto untapped market among Indian audiences, it is unclear how long it will take for the new franchise to break even. “Compared to IPL, these numbers are huge. Given the franchise and operating costs, we don’t know how much they’ll get in return. But it is an investment where the owners see that they are part of a growing brand, which will give them some benefits.”