The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) announced on Monday that Viacom 18 will pay 9.51 billion Indian rupees, or 117 million dollars, for the media rights to the women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) for the next five years.
ESPNcricinfo reported that in a closed-bid auction in Mumbai, Viacom 18 outbid Disney Star, Sony, and Zee, among other broadcasters. The first women’s IPL, a Twenty20 tournament, is scheduled to take place in March.
On Twitter, BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated, “This is massive for women’s cricket,” adding that the bidding amount would have a value of $870,393 per match.
Since 2018, there has been a Women’s T20 Challenge with three teams alongside the men’s IPL. However, the BCCI has been asked to organize a bigger tournament for women with more teams and players.
Shah added, “After pay equity, today’s bidding for Women’s IPL media rights marks another historic mandate.”
“It’s a big and important step for women’s cricket empowerment in India, which will ensure that women of all ages participate.”
In a deal that is said to be worth $3 billion, Disney Star was awarded the rights to broadcast both men’s and women’s International Cricket Council (ICC) events through the end of 2027.
The television broadcast rights to the men’s IPL were purchased by Disney-owned Star India in June for $3 billion.