The latest findings by the global valuation and financial services firm Duff & Phelps have been revealed in the IPL Brand Valuation Report 2018. This is the fifth edition of the publication from Duff & Phelps that shows insightful data on the brand values in the IPL ecosystem in a concise report.
The overall brand value of the pinnacle of the cash-rich Indian cricket ecosystem has seen a hike from $5.3 billion in 2017 to $6.3 billion in 2018. The growth has been attributed mainly to the record broadcast rights deal with Star India, controversy-free 2018 season and the presence of marquee players across franchises.
Star India had acquired the broadcast rights for the iconic Indian T20 professional league last year for ₹16,347.5 crores in a five-year deal, ending incumbent Sony’s ten-year reign of broadcasting the world’s richest professional cricket league. The new deal resulted in an 18.9% CAGR surge in the media rights value of the IPL.
Star India, with its campaign ‘Re-imagined’ IPL, expanded its reach across the Indian Sub-continent with live broadcast in eight different languages across 17 channels form the GEC and sports cluster for the final. The earlier matches were broadcast live in six languages across 12 channels.
Overall viewership of the tournament across all platforms TV (In-Home & Out-of-Home) and Digital in Urban + Rural Audiences was recorded at 11.3 billion gross impressions, which according to Star Sports is 29% higher than the comparable number of matches last year.
IPL 2018 clocked TV viewership at 9.985 billion gross impressions and 19% growth from the last edition when the IPL was aired on Sony. Digital viewership at 1.3 billion gross impressions was 3.5 times from last year.
Star’s OTT platform Hotstar bagged a world record for the unprecedented concurrent viewership numbers in IPL 2018 final, blazing past the 2012 world record of over 8 million concurrent viewers held by YouTube for Felix Baumgartner’s space jump. The Chennai Super Kings Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad final showdown tie, that saw the former clinching their IPL third title, reached 10.5 million in concurrent viewership – a world record on a digital platform for any sports. A total of 202 million viewers logged on to Hotstar, to watch IPL 2018, a 55.3% increase from last year.
The spike in online consumption of IPL and the increasing momentum of OTT as a medium to watch sports online was also one of the key reasons for several companies vying to acquire digital rights for streaming IPL.
Varun Gupta, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps and Asia Pacific Leader for Valuation Services, said, “Star India’s broadcasting rights deal was a game changer that put IPL on par with some of the biggest sporting leagues in the world (on a fee per match basis).”
“The change in content consumption, influx of over-the-top (OTT) and digital viewing platforms and increased support from advertisers, broadcasters and sponsors have given the IPL greater significance in terms of brand value.”
Social media also continues to be an important driver of brand value. The first week of the previous season of IPL garnered 642,900 mentions on social media platforms. That has gone up to 855,400 in the first week of the 2018 season and to 1.3 million after two weeks.
When it comes to the franchisees, the Reliance-owned Mumbai Indians, with a brand value of $113 million, continue to top the charts for the third season in a row. Kolkata Knight Riders sit in second spot with a brand value of $104 million.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals that came after a 2-year suspension had an impact on their brand values during the hiatus. However, CSK’s on-field performance coupled by the Dhoni factor helped them to neutralise the negative impact as they were valued at $98 million alongside Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals follow in the brand rankings.
“There is a clear gap between the top four franchises. Good performance, presence of marquee players and smart marketing helped the top teams,” said Santosh N, managing director, Duff & Phelps.
“Our IPL brand values report reflects the evolution of the modern cricket business paradigm with clubs benefiting from not only the enduring popularity of cricket in India but also from strong marketing and globalization of the game. However, for growth trajectories to maintain their momentum, all teams need to continue broadening their footprint, forming relationships and generating revenue opportunities in growth markets.”
“Ultimately, however, much of cricket’s future depends on ensuring the product is of a sufficiently high quality to continue attracting viewers, sponsors and broadcasters, this has become a vital component for the game’s financial health.”