What makes IPL one of the World’s Biggest Sporting Leagues?

Aman Bhatia
5 min readMay 28, 2023

BCCI is going to make ₹50,000 Cr+ just from IPL during 2023–2027


In the ever-evolving landscape of sports and entertainment, one event has taken the world by storm and captivated the hearts of millions: the Indian Premier League (IPL). The IPL is not just a cricket tournament; it’s a grand extravaganza that combines the thrill of the game with high stakes, glamour, and boundless excitement. In this blog, we will delve into the inner workings of the IPL, exploring the factors that have made it one of the world’s biggest sporting leagues. Brace yourself for a thrilling journey through the IPL’s business model ecosystem and uncover the secrets behind its astounding success.

Broadcasting Rights: The Backbone of the IPL:

At the core of the IPL’s financial success lies its broadcasting rights. The IPL’s popularity and viewership numbers have attracted major broadcasters, resulting in an exponential increase in the value of broadcasting deals. The latest deal, spanning five seasons from 2023–2027, was worth a mind-boggling ₹48,390.5 Crores. This figure represents a threefold increase from the previous rights agreement, highlighting the IPL’s growing influence and appeal. With Star Sports holding the TV rights and Viacom 18 (Jio Cinema) securing the app rights, the revenue from broadcasting rights is equally divided between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all 10 IPL teams.

Franchise Rights: The Lucrative Investments:

When a new team is introduced to the IPL, their franchise rights are put up for auction. The BCCI retains 100% of the proceeds from these auctions. The skyrocketing valuations of IPL franchises serve as a testament to the league’s commercial viability. In 2021, the Lucknow Super Giants were sold for a staggering ₹7,090 Crores, a remarkable twelvefold increase from the ₹486.9 Crores that the Mumbai Indians’ rights commanded in the league’s inaugural year. This valuation game has created an alluring opportunity for companies to invest in IPL teams, capitalizing on the league’s immense popularity and growth potential.

Central Sponsors: From Title Sponsors to Umpire Sponsors:

Another significant revenue stream for the IPL ecosystem comes from central sponsors. Leading companies like Tata and PayTm have secured prominent roles as title sponsors and umpire sponsors, respectively. These sponsorships play a vital role in promoting the league and enhancing its visibility. For instance, Tata secured the title sponsorship rights for ₹335 Crores per annum for the upcoming season, solidifying their association with the IPL brand. Other sponsors like Dream11 and Cred also contribute to the league’s financial prowess, with estimated revenues from central sponsorships expected to surpass ₹1,000 Crores this year.

Prize Money: A Fraction of the Cost, but a Symbol of Prestige:

While the prize money pool of approximately ₹46.5 Crores may seem relatively modest compared to the staggering franchise rights prices, it holds immense symbolic value. The prize money is divided between the winner, the runner-up, and the two teams that reach the playoffs. Although the monetary reward may not be substantial in relation to the cost of franchise rights, the title and recognition that accompany victory in the IPL attract significant attention and contribute to the overall value of the league.

The Valuation Game: Unleashing the Potential:

The exponential growth in franchise valuations showcases the tremendous financial opportunities presented by the IPL. From Rajasthan Royals, which was valued at ₹290 Crores in 2008, to the recent sale of a 15% stake in the franchise for ₹1,860 Crores, the increase in valuations is nothing short of remarkable. The surge in incremental revenue arising from broadcasting rights has been a primary driver of this valuation boom. For instance, Chennai Super Kings’ shares were initially traded at around ₹18–20 in the unlisted market, but now command a price of approximately ₹200, emphasizing the lucrative returns generated by IPL team ownership.

IPL Team Sponsors: The Branding Powerhouse:

IPL teams generate additional revenue through team sponsors, whose logos adorn players’ jerseys, kits, and other promotional materials. These sponsors contribute a significant portion, typically ranging from 20% to 30%, of a team’s revenue. For instance, the Royal Challengers Bangalore boasts Qatar Airways as their main principle sponsor, with other prominent brands like Happilo also associating themselves with various IPL teams. The partnership between teams and sponsors not only strengthens the league’s financial muscle but also amplifies brand visibility and reach.

Advertisements: Revenue Surge in the Digital Age:

With broadcasters investing exorbitant amounts in securing IPL rights, the return on investment comes from selling advertising space during the matches. Advertisements aired during IPL matches are highly sought-after, with TV broadcasters selling 10-second ad slots for ₹15–18 Lakhs. In 2022 alone, it is estimated that broadcasters earned an astonishing ₹4,300 Crores from ad sales.

Furthermore, the advent of digital platforms and apps has expanded the revenue potential, with Jio Cinema attracting millions of viewers and offering a lucrative platform for targeted advertising. This evolving landscape opens up new avenues for revenue generation, such as subscriptions, further augmenting the IPL’s financial prowess.


The IPL’s staggering success as one of the world’s biggest sporting leagues can be attributed to its dynamic business model ecosystem. With broadcasting rights, franchise valuations, central sponsorships, prize money, team sponsors, and advertisements fueling its financial growth, the IPL has become a juggernaut in the world of sports and entertainment. As cricket takes on the role of religion in India, the IPL remains the grandest festival, captivating the nation’s young and Gen Z audiences like never before. The IPL’s continued rise is a testament to its ability to evolve, innovate, and deliver a thrilling and immersive experience to fans worldwide.

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Aman Bhatia

2X Top Writer on Medium. Books, Life Lessons, Money, Self Improvement. Follow for inspiration and growth. Mail: amanbhatiakkr@gmail.com