Cricket as a sport has transcended beyond boundaries and has captured the attention of millions across the globe. When we talk about any sport; finance and economics play an integral part, as these aspects are the underlying determinants of the game. Without the appropriate source and means of financing, the game will never be able to function to its full efficiency and capacity. In order for the game to keep on improving, monetary sources are the most important aspect.
One major body, that has played an integral role in making the game more financially solid, has been the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The BCCI has simply revolutionized the monetary aspects of the game and in conjunction with the ICC, has scripted a massive rage for the sport as a whole.
When people talk about BCCI, it is often mentioned about how strong the organization is on the capital front. There have been no doubts about the financial strength of the BCCI, as the board manages the sport in a nation with a population of above 1.2 billion. So what is it that makes the BCCI such an intimidating and mesmerizing cricketing body?
The primary reason behind that is simple indeed. India’s massive population is that answer. India by far is the most populated country to be a major stakeholder for the game. With 1.2 billion cricket fanatics in India, the sport is bound to get richer to a colossal extent thanks to the Indian audiences alone. When we mention the term population, it deals with the cricketing audience that watches and follows the game throughout be it live in the stadium or on television. As a consequence, the south Asian nation by far has the widest spectator base for cricket.
The BCCI just cashes in on that, and since a major chunk of the viewers are from India, the BCCI duly gets it credit. Out of the ICC’s revenue sharing model, which it generates through the sale of tickets, television and satellite rights, a massive chunk is left for the BCCI. According to official figures, 23% of ICC’s revenue, goes into the deep pockets of the BCCI. That by far remains the highest margin, as only the cricketing bodies of England and Australia earns somewhere close, with their margin around the 8-10% mark.
Dwelling deeper into the financial statistics, projections for the ICC’s total revenue plan mentions the forecasted amount to be $2.5 billion, for the period between 2016 and 2023. This period includes as many as 2 World Cups (2019 – England, 2023 – India), 3 World T20’s and a proposed ICC test championship. With the ICC generating a skyrocketing $2.5 billion, the BCCI is expected to pocket at least 23% of that.
Another major reason for the BCCI to be so affluent has been an enigma called the Indian Premier League (IPL). The IPL needs no superlatives to be described with, as it remains a constant money minting machine. With every passing edition of the league, the BCCI just gets wealthier, and that revenue isn’t shared with any other cricketing body outside the BCCI’s jurisdiction. With fans fully passionate about the IPL, and the matches being witnessed by packed houses, the revenue generated through ticket sales alone has made the domestic cricketing boards far richer.
Another aspect about the IPL is that every major brand wants to get linked with the tournament. Several multinational heavyweights are linked to the tournament, and their sponsorship has also played a key part in multiplying the BCCI’s wealth. Secondary aspects such as the online streaming rights and other internet related facilities too have contributed to the endless stream of funds for the BCCI.
But one man, who deserves all the credits for laying the foundation for BCCI to take off, was none other than the late Jagmohan Dalmiya. The former cricket administrator was pivotal in getting India’s cricket on the commercial chart as he commenced the theory of linking the game with the financial powers.
Dalmiya’s rise to power was evident when India, along with Pakistan hosted the 1987 cricket World Cup, which was a major financial success back then. That was the game’s first concrete encounter with the south Asian diasporas, and since then, it has just formed a special relationship with people of this part of the globe. The 1987 World Cup was followed by major developments for Indian cricket, as the Rupert Murdoch-owned Star TV was awarded the broadcasting rights for games happening in India for a whopping Rs. 3851 crores. The figure today will be compounded to an amount that will just be astronomical.
All in all, the BCCI’s massive wealth reserves are no surprise to any avid cricket fan, as India remains a nation completely engulfed with the game. With aspects such as TV, the internet, and several other sponsor rights coming into the fray, this cricketing body has just magnified its wealth. In the years to come, one can expect these margins to be even higher, as the love for cricket remains at the highest possible level in India!