Recession may have taken a toll on economies and businesses worldwide, but not on Indian Premier League (IPL), which has become a pseudo Indian religion.
Inspite of the controversy over IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, and talks of IPL taking toll on player’s health and questions being asked about players giving priority to money over nation interest, the preparations for IPL 3.0, scheduled to commence on 12-March-2010, are in full swing.
The Indian cricket team wasn’t able to muster a sponsor owing to high reserve price but IPL is raking in huge money from all quarters.
The 9 year telecast rights deal was signed with Multi Screen Media for $1.7 billion while ICC could just get $1.1 billion for 3 World Cup, 4 T20 Cups and Champions trophy.
This year IPL is also giving 10 year theatrical rights for live telecast of matches with prices going upto $70 million. This would also give a boost to cinema business in India which is normally dull during summers.
IPL 4.0 would also see entry of 2 new franchises, and the base price of each team would be $225 million and the final figures are expected to double these prices, thus pushing revenues far higher for IPL.
IPL is also working on a model whereby it could have its own merchandise and sign licensing agreements with different brands to exploit its high brand value.
This all may seem good and glamorous, but it remains to be seen for how long Indian viewers would remain comfortable watching Indian and Australian players playing with each other and not against each other.