As though that were not enough, television viewership-the big money-churner for the IPL-is expected to grow by 20% from 143 million that the tournament clocked last year. On the basis of this surging viewership , SET Max, the official broadcaster of the tournament, expects to rake in a cool Rs 1,000 crore in ad revenue, up from about Rs 700 crore it took in last year.
"We have seen this trend from the first edition of the tournament, when the viewership was about 90 million. The number has now jumped significantly. The trajectory is expected to continue this year too," said Rohit Gupta, president, Multi Screen Media, which owns SET Max.
However, it's not a bed of roses for all the teams as some have not been able to command a premium increase of 20-25% as other have. This is because they have had to adapt to the new format and rebuild their teams following the player auction and World Cup.
"At the moment, we are not sure about how much better we will do this year in terms of business. But there has been a steady increase in all the revenue streams. But it will be a watershed year considering the kind of changes we have gone through," said Amrit Mathur, CEO, Delhi Daredevils, one of the few teams which has consistently made profits. Mathur said Delhi Daredevils has almost sold out tickets for its opening match against Mumbai Indians and expects the same for its other fixtures. Franchisees can earn anywhere between Rs 20-25 crore from ticket sales alone if it's a full house.
Besides, the local revenue where the team sells sponsorship for player's uniforms and earns through ticket sales, franchisees also earn a share of the central pool. The central sponsorship is fixed at Rs 35-40 crore per brand annually. DLF, Vodafone, Citibank and Volkswagen are the official partners.
Team owners said what has really taken a toll this year on most of the teams is the lack of brand building before the tournament.