Media Partners Asia (MPA) projects that the market for cricket media rights worldwide will double from $1 billion last year to more than $2 billion in 2021.
The Future of Cricket report maintains that the sport can become even more lucrative if structural changes are made by cricket boards and authorities and resources reallocated.
The demand for cricket rights is driven by three territories: India, Australia and England, accounting for 90 percent of the $1 billion market in 2018. The ICC ODI Cricket World Cup is expected to drive this year’s value to $1.7 billion. The ICC T20 Cricket World Cup in 2021 will drive the valuation to more than $2 billion.
“Cricket is Asia’s biggest sport in terms of viewership and has successfully absorbed three different game formats,” observes Vivek Couto, executive director at MPA. “Audiences and fans have moved rapidly to shorter formats, allowing new avenues for monetization as digital distribution accelerates. Cricket boards now need to harness new audiences and markets as digital content formats open up for monetization.”
Among the growth drivers for the cricket media rights sector is digital, as evidenced by the huge numbers for IPL 2019 on Hotstar in India with more than 267 million viewers. Fantasy gaming and live VR also present new opportunities. Cricket clubs are also driving growth. MPA sees well-defined calendars and formats as being a key structural change needed for the sector to grow. The other opportunity to drive value is in women’s and youth-based cricket.