Viacom 18, a joint venture between Paramount Global and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, has bagged the media rights for the women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) for the next five years. With $117 million, it outbid other broadcasters such as Sony, Disney Star, and Zee.
At $23 million per season, this is the world’s second-highest deal for a female sports league after the US women’s National Basketball Association, Bloomberg reported.
Referring to Viacom 18’s winning bid as a “massive win for women’s cricket,” Jay Shah, secretary of the country’s cricket board (BCCI), said the “development has marked another historic mandate for women’s cricket.”
However, the winning bid of $117 million is still low in comparison to the wildly-popular men’s IPL. Last year, the BCCI sold the media rights for the men’s edition for $6.2 billion. While its streaming rights were won by Viacom 18 for $3.1 billion, Disney got the TV rights for $3 billion.
The women’s IPL is expected to kickstart in March.
A three-team Women’s T20 Challenge has been staged alongside the men’s tournament since 2018.