New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India, or BCCI, is looking to make the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League as big a money-spinner as the first edition of the Indian Premier League, or IPL, championship and will call for tenders for broadcast rights after Wednesday.
On Sunday website Cricinfo.com quoted IPL commisioner Lalit Modias saying that the Champions League had received “four separate offers of $750 million (Rs 3,172.5 crore) each” for the commercial and broadcast rights of the tournament for 10 years. The tournament will be held in India between 30 September and 7 October and will feature eight teams, two each from India (the winner and the runner-up of IPL), Australia and South Africa and either two from a fourth country or one each from two other countries. “While Australia and South Africa have confirmed their participation, a fourth nation is likely to come on board in a day or two,” saidSundar Raman, chief executive, IPL.
Betting big : A file photo of a match from the first edition of the IPL T20 tournament. (Photo: Shahbaz Khan/PTI)
The tournament has attracted controversy even before its details are finalized because of BCCI’s insistence that countries will not be allowed to field cricketers who are affiliated to the Indian Cricket League, or ICL, the rival of IPL, that has no official status in India. The England and Wales Cricket Board is opposed to this. Kent, one of the two teams that would have participated in the tournament, has players affiliated to ICL, according to Cricinfo. On Sunday, Modi told the website that the seventh slot could be taken by a team from Pakistan and an eighth from New Zealand or Sri Lanka.
The controversy is unlikely to dim the appeal of the event to broadcasters and one person familiar with the matter who did not wish to be identified said that the floor price for the auction of telecast rights could be $15 million per year. The actual number could be much higher. BCCI had sold the telecast rights of IPL for $1.026 billion to a consortium of Multiscreen Media Pvt. Ltd and World Sports Group for 10 years. Leading sports broadcaster ESPN-Star Sports and Multiscreen Media, previously known as Sony Entertainment Television, said they will participate in the bidding process. “We have not seen the tender yet but once it is available then we will most certainly contest,” saidR.C. Venkateish, managing director, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd.
According to Raman, the tournament will see 15 matches played across stadiums in New Delhi, Mohali and Jaipur. The prize money for the event is $6 million, double of that offered for the inaugural edition of IPL.
Multiscreen Media is hoping it will be a preferred partner given its association with IPL. “It’s only natural that we will have an edge over competition because of our association with IPL,” said a senior executive of the company who did not wish to be identified.
Most advertisers who had a successful run with IPL said they would be keen to get on board. Executives at Havells India Ltd, Hyundai Motor India Ltd and Vodafone Essar Ltd admitted they would compete for various sponsorship rights. “After IPL’s success, Champions T20 is definitely something we are interested in,” said Arvind Saxena, senior vice-president, Hyundai.
BCCI generated around $200 million from IPL and shared these with the eight franchisees or teams. In the case of the Champions League, BCCI will split these among the participating boards.