Rights to Indian Women’s Premier League cricket team sell for $572 million

The Cricket Board of Control in India has sold the franchise rights to the city-based team for the inaugural Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL) for INR46.7 billion ($572 million).

The most expensive franchise was Ahmedabad, which was sold to Adani Sportsline for $158 million. Parent company Adani Group is currently in the eye of the storm, as US investment firm Hindenburg Research accused it of “pulling the biggest scam in corporate history”. The group, which has denied the allegations, is India’s largest corporation and an aspiring media empire builder.

Three of the other franchises have been bought by companies that also own the city’s franchises for the men’s IPL. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Indiawin Sports acquired the Mumbai franchise for $111 million, Royal Challengers Sports Bengaluru for $110 million and JSW GMR Cricket Delhi for $99 million. Capri Global Holdings acquired the Lucknow franchise for $93 million.

Earlier this month, Viacom18 acquired the global television and rights to WIPL’s 2023-2027 seasons for $116.4 million.

Nita Ambani, co-owner of the Mumbai franchise, said in a statement: ‚ÄúThis is a historic moment for Indian cricket and we are delighted to be a part of it. Indian women cricketers have always done the nation proud in the global sporting arena, be it the World Cup, Asian Cup or the recent Commonwealth Games. This new Women’s League will once again highlight the talent, power and potential of our girls on a global level.”

The men’s IPL is one of the most lucrative properties in world sport. In June 2022, Viacom18, a Mukesh Ambani-backed television and broadcasting group, paid $3 billion to win an online auction for two packages of IPL men’s cricket digital rights. Disney, which held the TV and digital rights to IPL for the last five seasons, won only the TV broadcast rights, but agreed to pay $3.01 billion for them.

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