Hurrah! Thanks to IPL, American Money Has Discovered Indian Cricket Finally. In the decade since RedBird Capital Partners was founded as a private investment firm, Gerry Cardinale has acquired interests in Fenway Sports Group, the YES Network of the New York Yankees, and the Italian soccer team AC Milan. One of his partners, Alec Scheiner, already worked as a vice president of the N.F.L.’s Dallas Cowboys.
Gerry Cardinale and Alec have a great idea about how big businesses work; NFL is an example. But it is a massive surprise for the people that have put their eyes on Indian cricket; they are investing massive amounts of money in the IPL 2023.
“When we first started looking at cricket, we were by no means experts,” Scheiner said. “But the more we studied it, the more we realized it felt like the N.F.L. did 20 years ago.”
For this reason, RedBird invested in the Rajasthan Royals and bought 15 percent of the stakes in 2021, totaling 37.5 million. The money poured into the competition over the past 15 months suggests that RedBird got a bargain.
The contract was closed after four months. An IPL expansion team sold for $940 million. Eight months later, IPL negotiated new agency agreements for $6.2 billion.
At over $1 billion per year, The IPL currently earns annual broadcast revenues similar to those of premier leagues like the NFL ($10 billion annually), the English Premier League (about $6.9 billion), and the NBA ($2.7 billion). IPL presents positions behind just the NFL.
In the bidding war for the broadcasting rights last year, Disney and Sony were among the bidders. Moreover, CVC Capital Partners just added an IPL team to a portfolio with stakes in rugby and football. Among those who beat it? The American owners of the N.F.L.’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the English soccer team Manchester United.