IPL to generate $1 billion in revenues this season

IPL, with 60 matches, would generate revenues of $1 billion this season, thanks to a huge fan following across the globe, attracting a large number of advertisers. Next year, 90 matches will be held

The Indian Premier League (IPL) would generate revenues of $1 billion this season, thanks to a huge fan following across the globe, attracting a large number of advertisers, its commissioner Lalit Modi said on Wednesday, reports PTI.

"The tournament is still on and we have not reached the final number. It will be more than a billion dollars (about Rs4,700 crore) this season. Last season, we did $450 million. Thereafter, we would double (revenues) every year," Mr Modi told PTI and asserted that as long as the fans keep coming to IPL, the league's brand value would increase and hence the revenues.

Total revenues for Sony, the official broadcaster, alone would be about Rs700 crore to Rs800 crore, he said, brushing aside the criticism that the advertising rates for IPL's third season were very high.

"There may be some advertisers who feel that way, but there are lot many others who are willing to join us," he said, pointing out that the huge success of the tournament in terms of TV viewership would certainly entice advertisers.

"There is no other sporting event across the world generating more eyeballs than the IPL," he said, adding that the league was virtually in every part of the world through either broadcasters of through the Internet, via YouTube.

Asked about an independent brand consultancy valuing Brand IPL at $4.13 billion, more than double from last year, Mr Modi said that “it is indeed valuation given to us by outsiders.”

Brand Finance, which came out with the IPL brand's latest valuation, said that the brand alone has risen significantly, providing tremendous economic value to its owner—Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It said that this demonstrates the exponential value of IPL and the brand potential in a cricket-loving country like India and other global cricketing countries.

Although the English Premier League is valued much higher at $12 billion, IPL's valuation has risen above $4 billion in just three years, Brand Finance pointed out.

In terms of brand value or valuation there could be bigger sports clubs in the West but most of those have negative cash flow, Mr Modi said, and pointed out that the English Premier League— though commanding a very high brand value—was facing a $800-million deficit.

"Here, we are talking about cash flow and it is going to grow in the future at IPL," he said, while detailing the dynamics of financing of IPL franchises.

Mr Modi said that the IPL teams had no load on them and "we are providing infrastructure and stadiums free of cost."

Asked about predictions that the IPL could not sustain, Mr Modi retorted: "Let them (cynics) say anything. I know the numbers. I know the game. I have delivered. We will continue to deliver."

The success of IPL hinged on the capacity to draw huge crowds, a fact that need not be proven again and again, he said, adding that teams were equally placed in terms of finances and capacity to buy players.

"The level playing field between the teams would make the event more interesting," he said and added that another factor for the success was that the revenue would be proportionate to the number of matches that are played.

This season there are 60 matches and the number would go up to 90 by next year and, therefore, the revenue would increase on a pro-rata basis, he said.

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