Mumbai: Bharti Airtel Ltd, the largest telecom company in India has decided to withdraw their sponsorship of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.
This development was confirmed by a senior official from ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd the official broadcaster of the tournament. The official who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak, maintained that the sponsor had taken up the clause in the contract which allowed them to review the sponsorship after a two year period. The sponsor had chosen not to participate owning to other financial commitments, he maintained.
However, at least one media report seemed to suggest that the sponsor had chosen to leave because they were not happy with the ratings being delivered by the sporting property. This could not be independently ascertained by Mint. The Champions League had failed to garner as many viewers as compared to the other popular format, the Indian Premier League.
Airtel had apparently signed a five-year deal to sponsor the event in 2009. The 2011 CLT20 will be held in India from 23 September to 9 October.
TOI also contributed to the story.