IPL grew 6.5% to ₹1.35 trillion this season, at much slower pace than 2023: Report

While the Indian Premier League (IPL) has hit it out of the park this year, its pace of growth has seen a slowdown when compared to the 2023 season. In a new report released today by global investment bank Houlihan Lokey, titled ‘IPL Valuation Study 2024’ which has evaluated the cricketing extravaganza this season, both as a business entity and a brand, said, the overall business has reached $16.4 billion or about 1.35 trillion, up around 6.5% over 2023. But on an overall basis, the IPL’s brand value grew much more at 81.7% in 2023 to $15.4 billion over $8.5 billion in 2022. The league’s standalone brand rose by a similar 6.3% reaching $3.4 billion or 28,000 crore, in 2024 over $3.2 billion. This figure, too, grew at 77% in 2023 over $1.8 billion in 2022.      

While the league continues to grow, the pace of its growth has slowed considerably in the more recent period. Harsh Talikoti, senior vice president of the corporate valuation advisory services at Houlihan Lokey, told Mint that this could be due to the higher cash flows the IPL was able to generate due to the media rights renewal in 2023. “The league may again see that kind of a jump in 2027 or earlier if it is able to successfully penetrate new markets like the US,” he said.  

Team values 

It said there has been a significant increase in franchise revenue over the years, primarily driven by revenue from television rights, despite each team having sponsorship revenue ranging from $5 million to $12 million. A major agreement was signed by Qatar Airways for around $9 million, about 75 crore, for a three-year contract with Royal Challengers Bengaluru. 

Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the most consistent team in the IPL with 12 playoff qualifications and five titles, has a brand value of $231 million, ranking number one in both brand and business value, thanks to fan following, branding, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership, despite failing to make it to the playoffs in 2024. Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) followed with a brand worth $227 million—a team that made the playoffs for the ninth time this year—bolstered by its fan base and Virat Kohli’s presence, despite the season’s loss in the semi finals to Rajasthan Royals.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), driven by Shah Rukh Khan’s power and players like Shreyas Iyer and Andre Russell, has climbed to third place with a brand value of $216 million, benefiting from a business management approach; Mumbai Indians (MI), valued at $204 million, remain a powerhouse with a legacy of nurturing talent like Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, though their brand value faced setbacks due to captaincy changes and on-field performance issues; Rajasthan Royals (RR), capitalizing on young Indian talents and marketing, jumped to fifth place with a brand value of $133 million; Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) followed with $132 million, revitalizing their squad with stars like Pat Cummins; Delhi Capitals (DC) was seventh with $131 million, buoyed by Rishabh Pant’s return; Gujarat Titans (GT), struggling with leadership changes and injuries, ranked eighth with a value of $124 million; Punjab Kings (PK) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) rounded out the list with brand values of $101 million and $91 million respectively, reflecting their challenges in achieving on-field success and fan engagement.

But one team saw a drop in performance while other teams grew. Delhi Capitals saw a 1% drop from 2023 to 2024 largely due to its on field performances and sponsors or advertisers placing Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad higher than it. “This was due to these two teams’ consistent on field performances as both played an attractive brand of cricket. But Delhi has Rishabh Pant who is expected to be the next big brand in Indian cricket after Kohli and Dhoni so the next few years will be interesting, considering that Dhoni is retiring,” Talikoti said when speaking to Mint.

The report said ad rates for television for a 10-second slot remained nearly flat in the 2024 season, too, when compared to 2023, growing 3.1% only. “The IPL is the most coveted asset in cricket. On average, a T20 match will have around 80-100 ad slots placed between overs, innings break, timeouts, and after fall of wickets. Similar to the NFL’s Super Bowl, where new TV commercials are launched every year, advertisers have replicated this model for the IPL in India. This year, advertisers ranging from fantasy apps to FMCG, fintech, banks, and electronics all jumped on the IPL bandwagon by releasing new and innovative TV commercials,” the report added. The league has given startups and new-age brands instant reach and eyeballs. These include Dream 11, Fan Craze, Go Slice, and My11Circle, among others. 

The title sponsorship for the IPL, which is with the Tata group, has been extended for a further five years, from 2024 until 2028, for approximately $300 million, or about 2,500 crore, paying approximately 50% more than the previous deal of 335 crore per season. 

Mint recently reported that Viacom18’s platform JioCinema reported substantial growth in viewership metrics, with its reach expanding by over 38% to 620 million unique viewers during the IPL season. Reach refers to the total number of unique individuals who accessed the platform to watch IPL content. It experienced a 53% increase in views, totaling 26 billion views. Views count the number of times IPL video content was watched on the platform. The total watch-time also saw a significant rise, reaching over 350 billion minutes.

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Published: 12 Jun 2024, 04:53 PM IST

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