Why is the BCCI the Richest Cricket Board in the World?

There was a time when BCCI struggled to generate revenue. How history changed, let’s take a look?

Rise of Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) 

BCCI continues to be the world’s richest board. But it wasn’t always the story. The board struggled to get the live matches telecast in India until the early 1990s.

In 1992, due to the monopoly of the government-run Doordarshan (DD), the BCCI had to pay around Rs Five Lakh to the DD channel to telecast the live match in India. But then in 1993, one strategic move changed history forever. Jagmohan Dalmiya identified the trend and decided to make Indian cricket self-sufficient. Jagmohan Dalmiya along with Inderjit Singh Bindra won the legal battle against broadcaster Doordarshan. And the outcome was that DD had to pay BCCI for acquiring the rights to televise Indian matches.

In 1993, BCCI sold the television rights to Trans World International (TWI) ahead of the India-England series match and made a profit of around $600,000. In fact, after this, Doordarshan had to pay a certain amount to TWI to telecast the matches in India. This was the first of its kind in history. Dalmiya’s decision to telecast the matches by private channels led to a huge amount of income for the board and the players.

By the late 1990s, cricket became a popular sport in India with a huge fan base. This gave an opportunity to BCCI to find more revenue streams. In 1996, Jagmohan Dalmiya along with the BCCI president at that point in time secured the hosting rights of the 1996 World Cup Match. The timing was right and the crucial and significant step changed the Indian cricket forever. His strategic decision changed the history of BCCI and how cricket was telecasted in India.


IPL changed the fate of BCCI and became one of the main sources of income for BCCI

Indian Premier League (IPL): Changed the fate of BCCI

In 2007, the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL) turned out to be the fate-changer. It changed the fate of the cricketing fraternity and the board. The combination of Cricket and Bollywood Celebrities was an instant hit. It gathered a huge fan following and IPL became one of the main sources of income for BCCI.  

IPL changed the power equations in world cricket too.

As per BCCI Annual report 2016-2017, the valuation appraisal firm Duff & Phelps estimated the IPL brand to be worth $5.3 billion (Rs. 37,100 Crore) in 2017. And as per Duff & Phelps IPL Brand Valuation Report 2019, the overall value of the Indian Premier League (IPL) ecosystem in 2019 has increased to around US $ 6.8 billion (Rs. 47,500 crores) from US $ 6.3 billion (Rs. 41,800 crores) in 2018.

What does this mean for India?

Indian audience and Indian cricket players, their passion has made Cricket the favourite and one of the most-watched sports in this day and age. India generates more than 70 per cent of the global revenue by being one of the largest populations to watch the sport. The rights to private channels to telecast the matches and IPL inception was a game-changer that led to the great transition of BCCI. In the mid-2000s the growth of Indian cricket was exponential.

As per the balance sheet in the year 2018-2019, the BCCI’s valuation has reached Rs 14,489.80 which made it richer than International Cricket Council (ICC). Therefore, BCCI has become richer and now the world’s richest board.

Roopali Kotwal
Roopali Kotwal
Roopali is an industry expert with over a decade of experience. An alumna of Delhi University she writes on Human Resource Management and Business Operations.



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