On Thursday, the 13th september 2007, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) launched the Indian Premier League (IPL) on the lines of football’s English Premier League and the National Basketball League (NBA) of the U.S.
In an apparent reaction to Essel Group’s Indian Cricket League (ICL) that had generated much debate, the BCCI paraded Australia bowling great Glenn McGrath and former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming in the national capital to support the IPL. India’s captain Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble were also part of the glittering launch attended by the President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Ray Mali, and chiefs of various cricket boards.
On the occasion, the BCCI and the ICC also unveiled a $5 million prize money Champions Twenty20 League. The added incentive of being part of the IPL will be the chance to play in the Champions Twenty20 League to be organised by the International Cricket Committee (ICC).
Just as in the UEFA Champions League, the winner and runner-up team of the IPL will qualify for the Champions League, to be played in October 2008. For a start, domestic Twenty20 leagues would be conducted by the cricket boards of Australia, South Africa and England, to have an eight-team Champions League.
The IPL, India’s domestic Twenty20 league will debut in April 2008 with 59 matches spread over 44 days. The IPL will primarily be played under lights with play beginning at 5 p.m. Two matches will be scheduled each day.
The IPL will be a franchise-model wherein corporates and sponsors will be allowed to buy and run teams. Player buy-outs will be an added feature, something that cricket is not accustomed to.
Title Sponsorship Rights:
Real estate developer DLF Group has won the title sponsorship of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after its successful Rs 200-crore bid. The bidding started at Rs 125 crores.
The three other bidders apart from DLF were Percept D'Mark, Hero Honda along with WSG and 21st Century even though the latter withdrew their bid as they wanted extra time to discuss the product category.
Jan 14, 2008: In one of the biggest telecast deals in Indian cricket, the consortium of India's Sony Television network and the Singapore-based World Sports Group (WSG) bagged the rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the official Twenty20 league for a period of 10 years at a cost of over US$1 billion. As part of the deal, the consortium will pay the BCCI US$908 million for the telecast rights and US$108 million for the promotion of the tournament.
Rough calculations show that Sony will need to sell a 10 second commercial for upwards of 2 lakh rupees to make the deals profitable. Advertisers, Media Planners and Buyers are divided over the value of these commercials - especially after the bitter experience of last year's ODI World Cup. While Sony claims that advertisers are showing keen interest in this 'more than cricket' entertainment package, a few media planners are wary for other reasons. Says one, "These matches are all prime time matches. How many women will allow their husband’s fascination for cricket to take precedence over soaps for 59 straight days remains to be seen?"
(to be continued)