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Cricket rights to hit US$2bn by 2021

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BT-Sport-Cricket.jpg?resize=900%2C506&ssThe continued take-up of broadband and smart phones will lead to a doubling in the value of cricket’s global media rights, according to a new report.

Media Partners Asia’s The Future of Cricket says the amount the game receives from media rights topped US$1 billion for the first time in 2018 and will likely top US$2 billion in 2021. MPA believes that further money is available if cricket authorities are prepared to make structural changes.

Three key markets – India, Australia and England – accounted for 90% of the value of cricket’s global media rights in 2018.

“Cricket is Asia’s biggest sport in terms of viewership and has successfully absorbed three different game formats,” said MPA executive director Vivek Couto. “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.”

The report identifies four main growth drivers for cricket: In the first three weeks of IPL 2019, more than 267 million viewers accessed the league over India’s premier sports and entertainment streaming platform, via Hotstar. MPA believes additional services such as
fantasy gaming and live VR can further drive engagement.

It also says that club cricket, which has become the principle means of identifying future talent, requires an expanded window with the possibility of having the world’s best domestic clubs play each other every year.

The cricket calendar should be better defined with boards emphasising One Day Internationals and T20 matches.

Growing adoption of women’s and youth-based tournaments, together with the related demographic split of the audience, offers an opportunity to introduce cricket to new fans, the report concludes.

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