On January 16, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the results of the closed-bid auction for the media rights to the upcoming Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL), with Viacom18 emerging as the winning bidder for Rs 951 crore for a period of five years. This was a significant victory for Viacom18, as it beat out rival bidders Disney+ Hotstar and Sony in the auction, which took place in Mumbai.
As a result of this acquisition, Viacom18 will now be responsible for the media rights to the Women’s IPL, and will pay the BCCI a value of INR 7.09 crores per match (2023-27). This represents a major advancement for women’s cricket, as it indicates a growing interest and investment in the sport. Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, confirmed this news in a series of tweets, noting that this acquisition of media rights, along with pay equity, symbolizes another historic mandate and is a step towards empowering women’s cricket in India.
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It is worth noting that the IPL is currently the richest league tournament in the history of cricket. With the recent developments, the Women’s IPL has become the second-richest cricket league in the world. The inaugural season of the Women’s IPL has already surpassed Pakistan’s Men’s PSL in terms of revenue. The price per match for the 2023–27 cycle of the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights sale was INR 57.40 crore, and Viacom18 won the media rights auction for the 2023-2027 seasons for 107.5 Cr INR per match. In comparison, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) only hit INR 2.76 crore for the 2022–23 cycle.
Jay Shah is optimistic that the WIPL will encourage women of all ages to participate in cricket and it is the beginning of a new era for women’s cricket in India.