The Indian Premier League announced plans in March for a women’s league by 2023, and the sport’s governing body is leveraging the men’s popularity to plan for the women’s future competition.
Jay Shah, the secretary for the Board of Control for Cricket in India and president of the Asian Cricket Council, told Bloomberg that women’s cricket is typically overlooked — IPL, on the other hand, is estimated to be worth $7 billion and had 600 million viewers last year.
IPL is third to only the English Premier League and the National Football League in viewership, per BCCI estimates.
Shah expressed interest in auctioning broadcasting rights for the WIPL and its six teams in early 2023. The men’s league’s rights go up for an e-auction in June and will likely draw in bids of more than $5 billion over five years.
- IPL’s popularity has hiked the bid base price to $4.2 billion and could include offers from Amazon, Disney, Sony, and Reliance Industries.
- Bidders can bid for live-streaming rights and TV rights individually. Before, it was sold in a closed bidding process as a bundle.
“The more money we raise, the better it gets for cricket, as we will be investing it all back,” Shah said. The money from the men’s IPL rights auctions will help fund other subsidiaries like the women’s league.