Cricket wages to rival football's as IPL signs £1.97bn deal
Star India saw off competition from Facebook and Sony to win the media rights
The Indian Premier League’s new £1.97bn media deal will bring cricketer wages on a par with elite footballers.
The Times reports that the deal could see Twenty20 cricket players earn close to £10m for the six-week competition.
Star India’s contract to show IPL matches is 400% higher than the previous one, with Sony - and according to The Times, each IPL match will command nearly the same media value as an English Premier League encounter.
IPL teams recruit their players via its lucrative auction. This year, England’s Ben Stokes won a £1.7m contract to play for Rising Pune Supergiant, while India’s Yuvraj Singh signed a £1.9m two years ago.
But these sums are expected to be dwarfed by those at the next IPL auction.
A subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, Star India saw off competition from Facebook and Sony to win the broadcast rights to the IPL. For the first time ever, a single IPL match will be worth more than the rights for an India home Test match.
“We believe the IPL is a very powerful property, and we believe there is lots more value that can be created for fans of cricket on digital and TV,” said Uday Shankar, Star India’s chief executive. “India, cricket and IPL have changed dramatically since 2008, and this bid is a reflection of that.”
The total paid for English Premier League rights topped £8.5bn over three years from 2016-17 for 1,140 matches - which works out at about £7.45m per match. Star India’s IPL deal will cover a total 300 matches - 60 per season for five years - meaning the media value for a single IPL game will be £6.57m.