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IPL: Star, Franchise owners seek clarity from BCCI

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MUMBAI: Even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the window for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the stakeholders, including media rights owner Star India and franchise owners are waiting for confirmation from the board.

Talking to ET, officials of four different franchises said that there is no clarity on the dates or the procedures to follow.

“We know that the window is from September 19th till November 10th, but the BCCI is yet to confirm the schedule, or any other details. All we have learnt so far is from the media reports,” said top executive of one of the teams.

He added that there is no information on how many people can fly from the management teams and the production vendors.

Team owners are also concerned about sponsorships and gate revenues (ticket sales) as it is learned that the BCCI is not going to compensate for the loss of gate revenues.

“They haven’t informed us yet (about gate revenue loss), but knowing BCCI, it is a possibility,” said a team owner. “For team owners, ticketing is not a small revenue stream.”

All the eight teams put together earn anything between Rs 130-160 crore from ticket sales. Top teams like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals earn in the range of Rs 20-25 crore each from seven home matches. As the 2020 season is going to be played in UAE, and without spectators, the franchises are set to lose out on this revenue.

There is also concern regarding team sponsorships. All the four franchises ET spoke with confirmed that many of the sponsors are looking at renegotiating the deals, but played it down saying that the discussions are on a good faith basis as the contracts are “water-tight”.

“As per the contracts, if all the matches are happening, they (sponsors) cannot ask for a reduction in the fee. But in good faith, we are open to sweeten the deal by allowing more assets, and may offer more players to shoot content and digital posts by players,” said a top executive of one of the teams.

For broadcast rights owner, Star India, the biggest concern is going to be whether or not the market is buoyant enough to spend on the IPL.

“IPL will be the first live cricket property with Indian players after a long time, so naturally there will be enough excitement, but given that the economy is down and 90% of corporate India is under losses, it will be a challenge to command price,” said CEO of a top media agency. “My guess is that they will be able to get 80% of last year’s ad revenue, anything more than that is icing on the cake.”

A sports marketing executive said that while franchises will negotiate for gate and sponsorship revenues, they will not be much bothered about it as far as their share in the central revenue pool is secured because of Star India.

“Franchises have a right to ask for compensation for gate revenues, but they will also not have to pay for stadium operations, security and branding etc, so it offsets the losses. On the sponsorship front, there is enough room for manoeuvre in digital space. Franchises can extend the term by say three months for meet and greets etc,” he added.

The board will meet the stakeholders over the weekend to finalise the plan for the league.


Source :economictimes.indiatimes.com

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