The brand value of the Indian Premier League has risen 19% to touch $6.3 billion in 2018 from $5.3 billion last year, said a report by Duff & Phelps, an advisory firm. Broadcasting rights deal with Star India, rise of over-the-top (OTT) content consumption and rising social media influence helped improve the brand value, according to the IPL Brand Valuation Report-2018.

Star India had acquired the global broadcast and digital rights for IPL for five years dishing out $2.55 billion outbidding Sony Pictures Networks India, Facebook, and Bharti Airtel in September last year.

This year in its 11th edition, IPL recorded the highest ever inaugural week television viewership at nearly 300 million, as per Broadcast Audience Research Council India with nearly 30% increase in reach in South India with regional channels contributing nearly two thirds of IPL’s total viewership.

The report says that this season highlights the importance of OTT sports viewership which has become a fast-growing market. Hotstar set a world record of OTT viewership with 10.7 million concurrent viewers, beating the 2012 world record of over 8 million concurrent viewers held by YouTube for Felix Baumgartner’s space jump.

“Star India’s broadcasting rights deal was a game changer that put IPL on par with some of the biggest sporting leagues in the world (on a fee per match basis),”commented Varun Gupta, managing director, Duff & Phelps and Asia Pacific leader for valuation services. “The change in content consumption, influx of over-the-top and digital viewing platforms and increased support from advertisers, broadcasters and sponsors have given the IPL greater significance in terms of brand value.”

Among the teams, the report shows that Nita Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians topped in terms of brand value of US$ 113.0 million, for the third season in a row. Kolkata Knight Riders came in second place with a brand value of $104.0 million followed by Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings with a brand value of $98 million each. Super Kings, returning from a two-year ban, was able to salvage its brand value because of its on-field performance and the Dhoni factor, said the report. A three-member committee set up by the Supreme Court had served the ban to Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals after it found that important officials with the teams were involved in betting.

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