How BCCI Makes Money?
In 1721, a British ship dropped anchor off the coast of Kutch in western India. The sailors on board didn't just bring goods; they also brought a new game with them - cricket. They played the game on the shores, and this was the first recorded instance of cricket being played in India.
As the years passed, cricket slowly became a favorite pastime among the British soldiers and settlers in India. They organized the first recorded cricket match in the country in 1751, pitting the British army against the English settlers. Indians also started loving the sport.
In 1792 the Calcutta Cricket Club was established, making it the second-oldest cricket club globally, right after the MCC. This was a significant moment for cricket in India, as it marked the sport's formal introduction to the country.
As time went on, more and more people in India started playing cricket. Different communities began to set up their own cricket clubs. The Parsis were among the first Indian civilians to embrace the sport. In 1848, they established the Oriental Cricket Club in Mumbai.
The Parsis were pretty well off, and they decided to send a team to England in 1886 to learn more about the game from its home. Dr. D.H. Patel was their captain, and their aim was to pay homage to English cricketers by going to the country where cricket was born.
When the Parsis returned, they had gained valuable experience. In 1888, a second Parsi team went to England and did even better. They won eight matches, lost eleven, and drew twelve. One of their star players was Dr. Mehellasha Pavri, who took a remarkable 170 wickets.
In 1889-90, the British sent a cricket team to India under G.F. Vernon's captaincy. They wanted to play against Englishmen living in India, and they also took on the Parsis in a game. In a stunning turn of events, the Parsis won by four wickets. It was the first time the British cricket team had been defeated on Indian soil.
Lord Hawke's team toured India in 1892-93, playing matches against the Parsis. Lord Harris, a prominent cricket figure, did his part by encouraging cricket interest in India. He organized an annual 'Presidency' match between the Europeans and the Parsis and set aside land in Mumbai for the Parsis, Hindus, and Muslims to establish their respective 'Gymkhanas' and 'maidans.'
In 1911, an 'All-India' team went to England, sponsored by the Maharaja of Patiala. The team featured some of the best cricketers of the time, with Baloo Palwankar, a left-arm spinner, standing out. Baloo was an 'untouchable,' but his talent and hard work made him a cricketing star.
The year 1926 marked a significant moment in the history of Indian cricket when two representatives from the Calcutta Cricket Club made their way to London for meetings of the Imperial Cricket Conference. Despite not having exclusive control over cricket in India, the club's participation was allowed, courtesy of the endorsement from Lord Harris, the Chairman of the ICC at that time. This gathering led to the Marylebone Cricket Club's decision to send a team to India in 1926-27, with Arthur Gilligan, the former captain of England's team during the 1924-25 Ashes, chosen to lead the squad.
One of the matches during this tour, between the visiting team and the Hindus at the Bombay Gymkhana, witnessed an extraordinary display of skill by C.K. Nayudu. He mesmerized the crowd with an astonishing 153 runs, including thirteen boundaries and eleven sixes, leaving an indelible impression on Gilligan. This exceptional performance, along with other notable displays by players like Prof. D.B. Deodhar, J.G. Navle, Wazir Ali, and Col. Mistry, convinced Gilligan of India's readiness for Test cricket.
During this period, cricket had already gained immense popularity all over the Indian subcontinent. Various cities such as Chennai, Sind, Calcutta, Lahore, Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Kanpur had become thriving centers for the sport. Moreover, the Maharaja of Patiala played a significant role in the development of cricket infrastructure, establishing cricket arenas in Patiala and Chail and bringing in coaches from overseas to train young cricketers.
In a meeting held in Delhi in February 1927, Gilligan expressed his admiration for Indian cricket and pledged to support India's inclusion in the ICC, provided all cricket enthusiasts in the country collaborated to establish a single controlling body.
This meeting paved the way for subsequent discussions and a significant gathering in Delhi on 21st November 1927, attended by representatives from various cricket associations across the region. The consensus among the attendees highlighted the need for a Board of Cricket Control to oversee and regulate the game in India, managing inter-territorial matches and resolving disputes between different associations.
A subsequent meeting at the Bombay Gymkhana on 10th December 1927 led to the unanimous decision to establish a 'Provisional' Board of Control, which would eventually transition into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) once eight territorial cricket associations were formed. Despite some initial setbacks and delays, the persistent efforts of Grant Govan and Anthony De Mello led to the establishment of the BCCI.
The BCCI, based in Bombay, played a pivotal role in nurturing and developing Indian cricket, paving the way for India's entry into the Test-playing nations' league in 1932. Despite challenges and changing leadership, the BCCI's strategic initiatives and strong organizational capabilities have continued to elevate Indian cricket to global prominence.
Fast forward to the present day, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has emerged as the wealthiest cricketing body globally, with a reported net worth of $2.25 billion in 2022. This financial ascent is a testament to the enduring love of Indians for cricket and how it has translated into substantial revenue for the BCCI.
Let's delve into the revenue sources and BCCI’s business.
The BCCI's annual reports from the five years leading up to 2021-22, publicly available on their website, reveal an accumulated surplus of a staggering 320 billion rupees, equivalent to $2.7 billion as of April 2022. A significant portion of this wealth has been generated through the Indian Premier League (IPL), with the 2021 edition alone bringing in a net income of $292 million. This income was derived from total revenues of $771 million and expenses totaling $479 million, as corroborated by audited financial records.
Media Rights:Indian cricket fans' unwavering dedication to the sport provides the BCCI with substantial bargaining power. The BCCI auctioned the broadcast and digital streaming rights for the 2023-27 IPL tournaments, resulting in an astonishing $6.2 billion deal in partnership with major US entities, Disney and Viacom. This figure represents nearly two-and-a-half times the value of the previous five-year media rights agreement. Additionally, the BCCI ventured into women's cricket with its inaugural T20 tournament in the same year, which earned nearly $700 million through franchise and media rights.
Title Sponsorship: Companies keen to leverage a vast audience vie for title sponsorship of the Indian cricket team. One standout example is PayTM, owned by One97 Communications, which secured the title sponsorship for the Indian team for four years, paying a hefty 203.28 crores. This sponsorship extends to all domestic and international cricket until 2023, making PayTM a prominent presence on the jerseys of India's cricketing stars.
Team Sponsorship: The BCCI also benefits from official team sponsors. Byju's, a prominent Indian ed-tech company, secured the position by offering approximately INR 1,079 crores until March 31, 2022. This ensures that players like Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah sport the Byju's logo on their jerseys.
International Cricket Tours: The BCCI's share of revenue from international cricket tours is substantial, with a new revenue-sharing model favoring the major cricketing nations, including the BCCI. The BCCI is expected to receive around Rs 1892 crore (US$231 million) annually, while neighboring Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to receive Rs 282 crore (US$34.51 million). This significant revenue share is largely due to India's massive viewership, which accounts for up to 75% of the entire viewership for international cricket games.
Kit Sponsors: Another source of revenue for BCCI are the Kit sponsors. The logos that you see on your favorite cricketers bat makes a ton of money for the BCCI. Recently, BCCI bagged Adidas as its kit sponsor. Even though the details of the agreement are not known, it seems that Adidas would be paying a similar amount to MPL, the previous sponsor which paid around Rs. 65 lakhs per match.
Indian Premier League (IPL): The IPL, with its blend of money, glamour, and aggressive cricket, has been a significant contributor to the BCCI's financial prowess. Ticket sales, media rights, and sponsorships all form part of the IPL's revenue. The BCCI shares 50% of the earnings with the franchise teams and retains the rest. Franchises also contribute approximately 20% of their total revenue to the BCCI at the end of the series. The massive viewership of IPL, with more than 400 billion viewing minutes, attracts hefty sponsorships and advertising deals, generating substantial income for the BCCI.
In summary, cricket in India is more than just a game; it's an emotion deeply ingrained in the hearts of the people. The BCCI has skillfully capitalized on this passion to accumulate substantial wealth. So, the next time you watch a cricket match, remember the significant financial investments that make it all possible.
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