Viacom18 wins Women’s IPL media rights for 2023-2027 period at INR 951 crore, announces BCCI (Ld)

Viacom18 Media Private Limited on Monday won the consolidated bid for media rights — Global Televisions Rights and Global Digital Rights — of the upcoming Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) for the period of 2023-2027.

At an auction in Mumbai organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Viacom18 won the rights with a bid of INR 951 crore, which translates to a per match value of INR 7.09 crore.

This is subject to the execution of definitive documentation and completion of formalities as required by BCCI, and other obligations specified in the ITT being completed. Argus Partners was the legal advisor to BCCI for the bid process.

“I would like to congratulate Viacom18 for bagging the media rights for Women’s IPL for the period of 5 years. Women’s cricket has been on the up since a few years and the recently concluded bilateral series against Australia is a great testament to how popular women’s cricket has become in India.”

“It was only apt to get our own women’s T20 league and give the fans more of women’s cricket. I would also like to congratulate the BCCI leadership and its workforce for a successful media rights process and wish them the very best for the first edition of the Women’s IPL,” said BCCI President Roger Binny in an official statement.

Earlier this year, Viacom18 shelled out INR 23,758 crore to claim digital rights (packages B & C) for the Indian subcontinent for IPL media rights 2023-27. Viacome18 further won the Australia, South Africa and United Kingdom rights for the same period.

“I am really thrilled that we have had such an encouraging response for a league that will revolutionise women’s cricket not just in India but across the globe. This is a commitment I had made to the Board and our women cricketers and today we have taken one big leap. The broadcasters play a key role in taking the game to a wider audience and their active interest in the league is a clear indication that the Women’s Indian Premier League is headed in the right direction.”

“The per-match valuation of Rs INR 7.09 crore is something that has never previously been registered for a women’s game. I congratulate Viacom18 for securing both the TV and digital rights with a combined bid of INR 951 crore and welcome them on Board. The journey has well and truly started and we will take another major step this month when the five franchises are announced,” said Jay Shah, BCCI Honorary Secretary.

Viacom18 also have broadcast rights of the ongoing SA20 franchise league and Indian broadcast rights of international cricket in South Africa from 2024-31. “The faith of all our bidders for this process also testifies that they see value in investing in this property which will only be growing with each passing year.”

“Women’s cricket has shown immense growth in the past few years and our own T20 league, it only solidifies our approach towards women’s cricket and the potential it has for growth in India. I would once again like to congratulate Viacom18 and would also like to thank all our bidders for supporting and showing faith in our prospects,” remarked Arun Singh Dhumal, Chairman, IPL Governing Council.

The per-match-value is reportedly calculated for 22 matches per season across the first three years as Women’s IPL is initially a five-team event. There is a possible increase to 34 matches from 2026 when the BCCI, based on the performance of the women’s IPL, could look at adding a sixth franchise.

“I’m truly glad to witness a new dawn in women’s cricket today. The Women’s IPL would elevate the stature of women’s cricket across the globe and would groom talents at the grassroots level. Congratulations to Viacom18 for winning the media rights for Women’s IPL 2023-27. We hope to witness phenomenal enthusiasm and support from cricket audiences worldwide,” said Rajeev Shukla, Vice-President, BCCI.

After holding Women’s T20 Challenge as an exhibition event from 2018 to 2022, the BCCI is all set to launch the inaugural edition of the Women’s IPL, a five-team affair with the inaugural edition set to be played in March 2023. Various reports have suggested that the BCCI will unveil the five WIPL franchises on January 25.

“I congratulate and thank Viacom18 for their record bid and faith in the league. With a consolidated bid of INR 951 crore they have won both the TV as well as digital rights. These are record numbers for a women’s tournament and signal to a promising start to Women’s IPL.”

“I am confident that the tournament will prove to be a game-changer and that the popularity of women’s cricket will soar further. A lot of work is being done behind the scenes and the first season of this unique tournament will truly be memorable,” said Ashish Shelar, BCCI Treasurer.

The BCCI had put out a tender document on January 3, asking for “reputed entities” to acquire the right to own and operate a team in Women’s IPL, through a tender process. It asked for interested parties to make a non-refundable payment of INR 5 lakh (USD 6000 approx.) by January 21 to claim the “invitation to tender” for the same.

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