How IPL Became One Of The Richest Leagues In Cricket And Sports
Cricket – It is a sport that dates back to over 400 years and as of 2019 is officially played in 104 countries around the world. But cricket’s popularity is starting to take a hit and things are especially bad in the country of its birth, the United Kingdom. Ratings in the UK have fallen off a cliff. Lesser people are playing the sport and the attendance at the traditional test cricket matches is falling. With all these happenings in the country where cricket had originated from, there is one country where cricket is more popular than ever – INDIA, kudos to the IPL.
Cricket’s worldwide fan base comprises roughly one billion people. And, the Indian subcontinent alone makes 90 percent of those fans. In India, the country adopted a brand new shorter format of the game that has drastically cut down on playing time -from days to hours. The Indian Premier League or the IPL is played in the T20 format. This competition was started back in 2008.
While this league has been around for only 12 years, but it fast became one of the most popular and valuable cricket leagues on the planet. IPL’s brand value has nearly doubled in the last five years. In 2018 the league was valued at a whopping $6.3 billion. IPL makes $510 million each year from its broadcasting rights alone!!!!!
This makes IPL the only cricket league in the world to crack the top 20 most valuable media rights deals in all the professional sports joining the ranks of the NFL, the NBA, and MLB!!!
So, how did the IPL became one of the most lucrative cricket leagues on the planet?
To begin with, IPL is based on the very foundation of traditional cricket. It is just that some rules have been improvised to revive the interest in the sports. The losing popularity of test cricket proved that spectators were not interested to spectate a full day of cricket rather they were interested in seeing a lot of action and that too in a limited amount of time. Also, in the year 2007 when a young Indian Cricket Team led beautifully by M.S. Dhoni won the very first T20 world cup, a tone had been set for this format all over the world, especially in India. In the very same year, a think tank was established to discuss the future of the T20 format. At the end of the year 2007, the format of IPL was decided.
There’s an Indian word called Tamasha which means fun, excitement, glamour, uncertainty – all rolled into one. And since day one of IPL, the IPL became the instant Tamasha. People were amazed to see cricket become a religious ceremony with spectators clapping, cheering, applauding all over the stadium, rather all over the country!!
In the early days of cricket, cricket was seen as a British game and not a global game. But as India and Pakistan started to play cricket there was a dramatic surge in the numbers. The broadcasting rights attained a historic value. More and more sponsors lined up for advertisements. Now, the balance of power shifted to Asia, the power was with India to be precise, the country which eventually became the leader of the sport.
All thanks to the IPL, India became the de facto leader in this sport. IPL soon became the festival of the sport. Players, spectators, and sponsors from all over the world wanted to be part of this lucrative league. There was a windfall of revenue. In the first two years, the IPL doubled in value. And in the decade, it has developed a unique brand of cricket that combines entertainment with fast-paced action.
It won’t be wrong to say that with IPL, the Indians finally discovered a three-hour Bollywood movie, which is actually live cricket!! 😉 This movie, unlike others, is actually super entertaining and is loved by millions all over the world!
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