Viacom18 Media Private Limited has bagged the media rights for Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL) for Rs 951 crores for the period of 2023-2027. It means the cricket board will earn Rs 7.09 crores per WIPL game, which is likely to be held in March. The BCCI will share 80 per cent from the revenue pool among five franchises in the first five years.
It is learnt that two companies wanted more time to bid but the Indian board turned down their request. BCCI secretary Jay Shah in a statement said he was thrilled to have 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,” Shah said in its statement.
“BCCI shall pay the franchisees 80% share of Central Rights income in the first five years, 60% in next five years and 50 per cent post that,” the statement read.
As per Shah after pay equity already done by the Indian board, the media rights deal has been a decisive step for empowerment of women’s cricket in India, which will ensure participation of women from all ages.
The pay scale change meant, Indian women cricketers now receive Rs 15 lakh per Test, Rs 6 lakh per ODI, and Rs 3 lakh per T20I, the same as their male counterparts. Earlier, the women players received Rs 1 lakh each for ODIs and T20Is while the match fee for a Test match was Rs 4 lakh.
Diana Edulji, former India player and BCCI administrator, was pleased with the development.
“Now women cricketers will bring revenue to Indian cricket. Earlier everyone felt that only men generate revenue. The media rights showed today that people want to see women’s cricket. They needed the opportunity and support from all stakeholders,” she told The Indian Express.
“Since 2017, women’s matches which are telecasted have received great response. Everyone is watching them closely and have been following them too. I feel there has been great improvement in the quality of cricket they play; it has attracted people. The India vs Australia game in Mumbai had a packed stadium, so interest is definitely there for women’s cricket.
With Women’s IPL we will get more talent and more exposure these girls will gain. With under 19 World Cup on now, we can see more talent coming in. There will be great competition ahead in women’s cricket.”
The WIPL’s first season is likely to be held in Mumbai and the BCCI will be having five teams this season. Many current franchises have shown interest in having an WIPL team and have submitted their bids to the Indian board. The new teams will be announced on January 25.
The BCCI was hopeful of attracting high bids after the way crowds turned out to watch India vs Australia women’s home series in Mumbai last month. “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,” BCCI president Roger Binny said.