How Does IPL Work In India?

The Indian Premier League is the most profitable domestic cricket tournament where we see players from across the world playing in different teams, often pitched against another player of the same country as theirs. The tournament is usually 57 days long. Lalit Modi founded the IPL in 2008. But how does IPL work?

These players become a part of different teams based on an ‘auction’. This year, 578 players with 36o Indian players participated in the auction. Various team owners (eight franchises) bid on the players to get them on their team. However, no team can exceed the purse value given to them.

Apart from the auction, there is also a ‘Right To Match’ card given to all franchises. This means that they can retain up to a maximum of five of their existing players before the auction begins. Trading and replacement of players also happen.


A few months after the auction process, the tournament begins with a lot of gaga surrounding it. The rules of the game are the same as those followed in a Twenty20 tournament. The ongoing IPL is the eleventh season of the series – with the brand value of IPL in 2017 being USD 5.3billion!

Each team plays each other twice, in a home and away format. These are the current teams, their home grounds, their captains and their coaches.


From all the aspects of an IPL tournament, one of the most intriguing aspects is how the team owners make money and how are players paid. There are the major sources of income for the team owners through which they pay the players:

1. Advertisement revenue/ sponsors:

Sponsorship is the largest source of income. Every small thing, ranging from the players’ clothes to the ground pitch are potential spaces for advertisement. Even when it comes to clothes, there might be different sponsors like the jersey sponsor or the sleeve sponsor. Brands spend crores of rupees to sponsor as IPL is one of the most watched sports tournaments that gives them a huge market. For eg, Vivo is the title sponsor for IPL. The income that BCCI generates through its sponsors is distributed equally among all franchises. The brand value of the team makes a huge difference in attracting sponsors.

2. Media broadcasting rights:

This is another major source of income. Sony Entertainment had a deal with BBCI for the broadcasting rights of IPL for 8,200 crores till 2017, according to Sports Keeda. This income is guaranteed, come what may as it is essential for the tournament to be broadcasted for viewership. This revenue is also distributed equally among all franchises.


3. Tickets:

India is a country where people are crazy about cricket. Which cricket fan wouldn’t want to go watch their favourite team play at the stadium? Stadiums, where IPL matches are being held, usually fully packed – especially, the semi-finals and finals, generating a large amount of revenue.

These are the three major sources of income where the sky is the limit. The prize money of a few crores is nothing compared to the revenue the franchise earns.

Apart from paying the players, other salaries of the supporting staff, expenses of travel and accommodation of the teams, rents, logistic expenses etc. are what the team owners bear every year. A large chunk is spent on promotional events and marketing.


The players earn a lot of money from prizes that are offered during the matches apart from their IPL salaries.

This is how the IPL works. You, the fans play a really huge role in driving this lucrative tournament. It’s incredible but the BCCI said that in 2015, the IPL contributed US$182 billion (₹11.5 billion) to India’s GDP!

Also read:

IPL 2018: Mind-Blowing Facts About It That You Need To Know

Heer Khant
Heer Khant

Traveller | Writer | Photographer | Maverick | Social Worker | Lawyer | A freedom-loving woman for whom words are like wings to her soul. She believes in aliens, hates boundaries and lives like the first human on Earth.

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