The rugged appeal of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was highlighted again this year after the world’s richest Twenty20 league escaped the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic with just a few minor scratches.
The Indian Cricket League (BCCI), with an estimated brand value of $ 6.8 billion, has attracted a record number of viewers and digital audiences and at least one of its franchises has even increased revenues despite the postponement of the league, then his transfer to the United Arab Emirates. following the coronavirus outbreak in India.
The cancellation of the entire tournament would have left a hole of $ 536 million in the pocket of the richest cricket council in the world, which rarely shares financial figures on the league.
Thus, the eight franchises of the IPL were introduced in a bio-secure bubble in August to play 60 games on three sites, all behind closed doors.
The Mumbai Indians won a record fifth IPL title in Tuesday’s final, but it was also a victory for Brand IPL.
“It has been a great success given the current scenario in the world,” BCCI Treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal told Reuters.
“Everyone had their fingers crossed as to whether we would be able to pull it off.
Deprived of live cricket action for nearly nine months, the second most populous country in the world has sat glued to TVs, licking every bit of UAE action.
Board secretary Jay Shah, citing the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) television watchdog, said a record 200 million fans watched the September 19 opening between Mumbai and Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi.
In terms of audience, the IPL has even surpassed some of the Premier League’s pay-per-view matches in Britain.
BARC tweeted ahead of the playoffs that the league had recorded seven billion viewing minutes, up 28% from last year, after the opening 41 games.
“With people generally staying indoors due to the pandemic and the lack of other entertainment options due to COVID-19, the number of viewers has been incredibly high,” Santosh N, external advisor to Reuters, told Reuters Duff and Phelps financial consulting firm.
“It showed why the IPL is such a massive property not only in cricket, but in world sports in general.”
BCCI’s Dhumal called him “the most successful IPL ever” in terms of audience and explained what he thought it meant for the cricket eco-system.
“I am happy that we were able to organize it successfully because when it has an impact on the revenues of the BCCI, it has an impact on the game, it has an impact on the players, it has an impact on the state associations and the creation of a cricket infrastructure, ”he said.