When the Indian Premier League was launched, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the game’s top administrative body, saw it as an additional revenue stream at best and a minor misadventure at worst. Two seasons later, it seems like the overwhelming popularity of the 20-over format of tournaments such as the IPL and Champions League T20, is eating into BCCI’s mainstay revenues.
Mumbai’s Nimbus Communications has won the broadcast rights to BCCI’s games (one day international and test matches) played in India till April 2014 (via TOI). The company had won the same contract in 2006 as well, and holds the telecast rights till March 2010. In 2006, the company paid $612 million (Rs2,722 crore then) for the deal. This time, however, the company is only paying $425 million (Rs1,960 crore), according to the TOI story. This is despite the fact that overall, ad rates as well as ad spends are expected to go up during the four years from 2010.
Sale of media rights is the single biggest source of BCCI’s revenues, so the deal must come as a dampner to India’s richest sports body.
In September, Hindustan Times carried a prescient story about the decline in ratings of one-day cricket.
The story said that even the big India-Pakistan game, which has in the past unfailingly set ratings on fire, clocked a TRP of just 2.6, while India’s games at the Twenty20 World Cup in June averaged a TRP of 4.
In 2008, Set Max reportedly signed a $1.026 billion deal for IPL TV rights for ten years.