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IPL Signs One of the Biggest TV Rights Deals in Sporting History

Indian Flag with Cricket HelmetIndia loves its cricket, and that has been proven by the staggering TV rights deal signed by the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Board of Control for Cricket in India will pocket a handsome $5.6 billion (£4.6 billion) from the package, which includes both TV and live streaming agreements.

The Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, courtesy of his Viacom18 network, has forked out around half of the money, while Star India – a local channel owned by Disney – have retained their rights with a $3 billion investment.

Star paid $2.4 billion for the previous package of five IPL seasons, and so the increasing popularity of the competition is clear for all to see.

The deal works out at around $7 million per game over the five-year period, confirming this to be the most lucrative TV rights deal in sports broadcasting history.

Top 5 Biggest TV Rights Deals In History

Businessman with TV Head Amongst Money

It should be said that as far as global TV deals go, the new IPL package isn’t a patch on some other mammoth contracts around the world.

The agreement covering Premier League football, currently held by Sky Sports, BT and Amazon, is worth around £5.1 billion to the coffers of the EPL in each three-year cycle, and that figure is almost doubled when other overseas deals are added into the mix.

The NFL possess the most lucrative TV deal on the planet. The overall package is worth in the region of $113 billion (£93.5 billion), and spread over the course of eleven years it means that the likes of ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC pay a combined $10.2 billion (£8.4 billion) per season.

Amazon are also part of that new deal, which runs until 2032, and one game between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals was watched by more than eleven million people via their Prime Video streaming service.

The other American sports tend to pale in comparison. The NBA rights, currently held by ESPN and TNT, are worth around $24 billion (£19.8 billion) in each nine-year cycle, which works out at around $2.6 billion (£2.1 billion) per season. The MLB earns around $550 million (£455 million) per year from their new deal, while NHL rights bring in around $625 million annually from Disney and Turner Sports.

European football is also a handy earner, with Serie A (around £1.1 billion per season) and the Bundesliga (around £1 billion) leading the way ahead of La Liga (£765 million).

Surprisingly, one of the other most lucrative TV deals relates to a sport that isn’t much watched outside of its native country – Aussie Rules football. But the Australian Football League agreed a package worth around £390 million per season in 2020 with its broadcast partners Foxtel and Telstra.