Over six weeks, eight teams inside IPL play against each additional in a series of matches in which culminate in a championship match with the final two teams. During the first week of IPL’s 2018 season, in which pulled in 371 million total viewers, according to Star India.
The hundreds of millions of viewers have caught the eyes of major U.S.-based media companies. In 2017, there was a bidding war for the global broadcasting rights for IPL. Companies like Fox, Facebook, in addition to Sony threw their hats inside ring to get the rights.
The winner was Fox, which struck a a few-year $2.55 billion deal for the rights. Those rights may end up finding a fresh home if Walt Disney succeeds in its attempt to buy Fox. The combined company would certainly hold the global rights to the sport. (CNBC’s parent, Comcast, had also made an offer to buy Fox.)
IPL’s popularity extends well beyond India’s borders, creating its global broadcasting rights important. Cricket players around the entire world typically play in more than one Twenty20 league each year. The Twenty20 matches aren’t just shorter, the seasons are shorter too. Twenty20 players by Australia’s Big Bash League or Pakistan’s Super League can play inside IPL, while also playing for their national teams or others. Since IPL’s season only lasts just over six weeks, there is actually little overlap with additional Twenty20 leagues.