WPL is here to stay: No longer an opening act for the IPL

By Pratyush Rohra, AISTS INDIA Cohort, 2023- 2024

By wplt20.com, Women’s Premier League

Women’s sport in India has been on an upward trajectory in the last decade or so. The inception of the Women’s Premier League in 2023 have only further boosted the prospects for women’s sport in the country. In its inaugural season, the final of the WPL delivered the highest viewership for any women’s event globally with over 10 million people tuning in to watch the finals between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.

That’s a significant number for the broadcasters, Viacom18, who bought the media rights for the tournament for a whopping $116 million, making WPL the second most expensive women’s league in terms of media rights, only behind the WNBA. This was even before the details of the tournament had been laid out.

During its inaugural season, the tournament was watched by 50 million viewers (across television and digital platforms) in its first 14 games. This season, the cumulative TV viewership of WPL reached 103 million viewers within the first 15 games, according to BARC data. Not only that, but there is also a 25% rise in the number of sponsors associated with the league, while sports across the board in India have a proportion of female audiences that now exceeds 40%.

These numbers have given brands a whole new market to tap into. With the Women’s Premier League mirroring the Indian Premier League, FMCG, BFSI and women centric brands are starting to realise the potential for growth in the women’s tournament. The IPL isn’t the only grand festival of cricket in the country anymore. So, the brands don’t have to put all their eggs in one basket. Instead, the WPL has opened up a new avenue for brands that are slowly but surely starting to recognise the opportunity that comes with being associated with the women’s tournament. That in turn has also helped individual athletes bag more brand endorsements. 

As the curtains were drawn on the second season of the Women’s Premier League, the Royal Challengers Bangalore women ended the franchise’s 16-year long wait for a title. The women in red scripted history as they won the franchise their maiden title, a feat that the men are yet to achieve in the Indian Premier League. 

It’s safe to say that women’s sport is growing exponentially in the country. It took more than a decade for the IPL to establish itself at the level it has today. Who knows? A few years down the line, the WPL will build itself in a similar manner.

What we do know is that the WPL has already proved that it is here to stay as one of the pioneering sporting events that will continue to empower women across all domains.

By Pratyush Rohra, AISTS INDIA Cohort, 2023- 2024

Experience the world of sport in the Olympic Capital

All PGCP participants will have the option to visit Lausanne, the Olympic Capital. Participants attend several full-day workshops throughout the programme to experience sport. These sessions are delivered by the sport organisations and federations themselves and provide a unique hands-on experience