DC EDIT | IPL in $6 billion heaven
Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent
The IPL has built up momentum over 15 years, defying all negatives, including the fan fatigue factor
Now that the BCCI has oodles of money, it can channel some to larger causes too, after having generously upped the retirement money to those who have served the game like players and umpires. Representational Image/DC
In a stupendous jump in bidding that defies global economic projections, broadcasters and streaming sites will be paying a stupendous Rs.48,390 crores ($6.2 billion) over five years, close to Rs.10,000 crores a season, and take rights revenues to stratospheric heights for IPL cricket.
The cricket ecosystem, which offers a kind of cathartic cushioning against what is happening to the rest of the world such as a pandemic, a war in Europe and economic meltdown everywhere, has proved triumphant against all the odds.
As a nation that is known to "consume" cricket, India is mighty proudly placed to beat its chest about its club cricket having overtaken all but American football in terms of raising a buck out of sports lovers for professional leagues. A combination of television and today’s web streaming that renders entertainment "mobile" has seen to the supremacy of IPL as an irresistible "product" of mass consumption.
There were times when the IPL behaved as if in a cocoon and was going ahead playing matches with reckless abandon in the course of the pandemic. Money may make the world go around but greater social responsibility was called for. And now that the BCCI has oodles of money, it can channel some to larger causes too, after having generously upped the retirement money to those who have served the game like players and umpires.
The IPL has built up momentum over 15 years, defying all negatives, including the fan fatigue factor. That its players were not always honest was a conclusion readily drawn from the spot and match-fixing scandals that bobbed up periodically and once so notoriously as to threaten to disrupt the league with the suspension of two teams.
Even so, some things haven’t changed. The cricket board continues to be opaque about its accounts even as its chief honchos stay in office on sufferance and well beyond their term as the top court is yet to rule firmly on all the restrictions that it placed on the sport’s administrators.
No one begrudges the current 10 franchises, which may earn upwards of Rs.450 crores a season from now on from the common pool comprising 50 per cent of revenues. A greater commitment to transparency is, however, called for from the admin that handles these mind-boggling inflows of dollars and rupees, all of which is tax-exempt in BCCI hands.