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Earlier this week, Disney Star won the TV rights and Reliance’s Viacom18 won the digital rights to the Indian Premier League or IPL. The Board of Control for Cricket in India earned over Rs 48,000 crore ($6.2 billion) from the sale of media rights. That is over three times the price it fetched in 2017. There has been a lot of chest-thumping about how, on a per match basis, IPL is now second only to the American National Football League (NFL) one of the world’s most expensive sports properties.
That is cause for concern, not celebration. The NFL operates in a market that, at over $700 billion in revenue, is almost 36 times the entire Indian media and entertainment space.