When it was introduced in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) in cricket was set to fail according to many of its critics. 14 years later, it is now one of the most successful franchise leagues anywhere in the world.
The IPL has injected some life into cricket. It has been able to attract the world’s best players from the 2019 Cricket World Cup to the annual competition, which is not only watched by millions in India, but cricket fans around the globe tune in to every game.
Viewing figures for the T20 league continue to grow. In 2021, prior to match 35, over 380 million people had turned into the competition around the world. This makes it the most watched annual cricket tournament in the sport.
The current rights for the IPL are held by Star India. They signed a five-year deal worth $2.55 billion in 2017 which runs through to the end of the 2022 season. Interest in the next five-year contract is expected to be strong, which could push the price over the $5 billion valuation mark.
Bidders for the media rights for the 2023 IPL include Amazon, Disney Star, Sony Group Corp, and Apple Inc. Having so many giant corporations bidding against each other says a lot about the appeal of the Indian league.
IPL Part of Popular Culture in India
Sports fans got the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at the IPL with the Netflix documentary Cricket Fever in 2018. It followed the Mumbai Indians for a season, capturing some great content with the players.
The eight-episode series proved to be a big hit, and it remains popular today on the streaming service. It has an appeal that extends beyond cricket fans. It was also a great advert for the excitement the IPL can deliver.
The IPL has also featured in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, one of the most popular television shows in India. A storyline centered around the league with many of their leading characters. This is a great example of how the IPL is now a big part of popular culture in the country.
It is not just television shows where the IPL will be found throughout the year, adverts also feature some of the leading stars from the league. Players and franchises work with various brands in sponsorship deals, with a large part of their contracts requiring them to promote their products in their ads.
IPL one of The Most Popular Betting Markets in India
The rise in popularity of the IPL has meant it has become one of the most popular betting markets in India. Fans enjoy betting on who will lift the trophy, individual matches, and player markets, such as top batsman and top wicket-taker.
All the major bookmakers have a strong array of markets on the IPL, as this is something bettors now expect to see. This is all part of a larger expectation of brands going to extra mile to get their custom. This is why the best betting sites in India, like bet 365, offer regular offers and bonuses on the competition as well as a broad range of markets. They also give people the chance to stream games on their award-winning app.
In 2022, the IPL added two new franchises to the league. With 10 participants, there are now 74 matches each year, which means punters have even more games to bet on. The success of the Gujarat Titans in their first-ever campaign also shows how competitive the league is. The annual IPL Auction gives all 10 teams the chance to improve their roster at the start of every season.
The IPL returns on 25 March 2023 when the Titans will be looking to become just the third team in history to defend their title in the competition.
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