5 Most Richest Cricket League in the World
We often see cricket and economics move parallel, proving that it is not just a sport but a huge business. Over the years, the game has changed from an amateur game to a multi-billion dollar industry.
The T20 format is the most lucrative form of cricket and has attracted fans all across the world. Although it started in England, the love for T20 has spread like a wildfire globally and after India won the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007, there was no looking back.
Who had thought that the influence of cricket on the Indian economy will be so much so that it will contribute billions to India’s GDP? The impact is not just financial but has also generated many opportunities like employment generation, tourism development, and media exposure.
At the moment, there are 5 major T20 leagues across the globe, which have yearly revenue of millions. What these tournaments do is that they generate a spiral of money flowing from one point to the other and keeps on increasing every moment.
Let’s analyze the top 5 Richest T20 Cricket Leagues in the world starting with India’s richest league – Indian Premier League
#1. Indian Premier League (IPL)
IPL alone as a brand is valued at USD 4.5 billion dollars and this figure is thriving every moment due to annual compounding. The league emerged as number one in the list of world’s richest league after several big giants started to compete for its sponsorships. The construction titan DLF became the title sponsor for the first five seasons and bid up to INR 200 crore to win the rights. The figures increased tremendously when in 2013, leading soft drink brand PepsiCo acquired the title sponsorship for almost INR 400 crores.
The latest in the race is VIVO, the mobile manufacturing giant who paid INR 2199 crores for title sponsorship. Don’t be surprised, as the number for broadcasting rights are also next level. Star India purchased broadcasting rights for a whopping amount of INR 16,347.5 crores. What makes IPL the richest league is that it offers the premier quality of cricket by roping in some of the prestigious names of cricket fraternity. Season after season, we witness house full stadiums with thriller performances on the pitch. Let’s not forget the prize money of the tournament which stands at INR 40 crore. To break down the functioning of IPL, one can determine that the major part of IPL earnings come from its efficient distribution model through ticket sales, title sponsorship, and broadcasting rights.
#2. Big Bash League (BBL)
Second, on the list, Big Bash League (BBL) originated from Down Under and once not so famous league has revolutionized itself. KFC, the American fast-food chain has been its chief sponsor since its inception in 2011. BBL has also gone one step further and introduced Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) which is a great hit as well.
What differentiates IPL and BBL is that many franchises are involved in IPL but in BBL, Cricket Australia manages the finances and revenue distribution.
It is also quite similar to IPL in the way of its source of revenue via ticket sales and broadcasting rights. In 2013, Cricket Australia signed a contract with Ten Network to become its official broadcast partner for 100 million dollars. The prize money for the tournament is 450,000 dollars and doesn’t stand close to the humongous IPL prize money. But given the population of Australia which is hardly 1.86% of India, the tournament has proven to be a great success in Australia.
#3. NatWest T20 Blast
England’s T20 tournament is third in ranking and is one of the first T20 tournaments envisioned. A sum of 18 first-class countries compete over a period of three months and the T20 league runs parallel with domestic first-class and List A tournaments making the scheduling a complete failure. As a result, the audience of the NatWest T20 Blast is not as high as IPL or BBL.
Managed by England Cricket Board, the tournament earns 5-7 million from broadcasting partners. Taking inspiration from IPL, ECB is contemplating privatization of the league and making it a city-based franchise affair rather than a conventional county affair.
#4. Caribbean Premier League (CBL)
Being on the fourth position in the list, the league is regulated by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The Indian automobile manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp is the title sponsor of the league. When the league began in 2013, Richard Branson (Virgin airlines owner) partnered to become one of the co-owners. To appeal to a larger audience, Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg was also bought on board. Broadcasting is the main source of revenue for the league with the average international audience being close to 208 million.
#5. Pakistan Super League (PSL)
On the last place in the ranking is PSL which is on similar lines as IPL. The tournament is not always played in Pakistan and UAE hosts the league every year. With just three seasons old, the league has already gained popularity not just for the talent it showcases but also for its financial gains. When it began, the franchises were sold for USD 93 million and the current market value of the league is USD 300 million and it is expected to rise manifolds in the coming years.