In its bid to promote the traditional version of the game in the age of slam bang Twenty20 cricket, the ICC is contemplating of introducing a Test league from where top four teams would qualify for a quadrennial play-off event to begin in 2013.Apart from the Test play-off, the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC), which assembled here for a two-day meeting that concluded today, also recommended an ODI league from next year.”The Future Tours Programme should consist of a Test league to provide context for all Test matches. The league would determine the top four teams to qualify for an ICC Test play-off. The play-off should be held once every four years to determine the Test champion team with a request to hold the first such play-off in 2013,” the ICC said in a statement.”The FTP should also consist of a One-Day International league, the first to run from April 2011 until April 2014, culminating in the crowning of an ODI league champion. This would run separate to the ICC Cricket World Cup,” it said.The CEC also recommended that the game’s governing body should consider a 10-team format for ICC’s flagship event, the Cricket World Cup, from 2015 and 16-team format for the men’s World Twenty20 from 2012.The committee also recommended the introduction of Twenty20 International rankings.”I am really excited by what the CEC has proposed.Restructuring international cricket is a significant strategic challenge and one that must be dealt with. I am grateful to the CEC and its working group for making such far-reaching proposals to tackle this important issue,” ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said.advertisement”Achieving balance and unanimous agreement is not easy but it is a very important piece of work that requires a strategic response,” he said.
Shipla Shetty has a stake in Rajasthan RoyalsRajasthan Royals, winners of Season 1 didn’t know until four months before Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 4 whether they would be playing. They’ve added sponsors this year, their tally swelling to 18. Last year’s runners-up, Mumbai Indians, have similarly added four big-ticket,Shipla Shetty has a stake in Rajasthan RoyalsRajasthan Royals, winners of Season 1 didn’t know until four months before Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 4 whether they would be playing. They’ve added sponsors this year, their tally swelling to 18. Last year’s runners-up, Mumbai Indians, have similarly added four big-ticket sponsors, ensuring their profits outstrip last year’s Rs 7 crore. Even newbie Pune Warriors, owned by Subroto Roy Sahara, the most expensive team in IPL at a cost of $373 million, has managed to put together an A-list of 15 sponsors with TVS as the lead sponsor.Mumbai Indians’ Nita Ambani with son AnantWelcome to the Indian Paisa League. There are more matches (74 compared to 60 last year), higher TRPS (7.14 compared to 5.9 last year for the opening game) and even higher tv revenue (an expected Rs 1,000 crore compared to Rs 700 crore last year.) Everyone is a winner. Even the losers. Despite an average performance, Kings XI Punjab made an operating profit of Rs 29 crore in 2010, while the down-at-heel Kolkata Knight Riders made Rs 5.6 crore in 2010. Shah Rukh Khan co-owns Kolkata Knight RidersBarely a week after a 45-day energy sapping International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, IPL 4 underlines that the cricket economy is alive and well. Almost everything, from the scorecard to the sight screens, is up for sale. If ESPN-Star Sports has made close to Rs 940 crore from the just- concluded ICC World Cup (it spent $2 billion on the 10-year icc broadcasting rights), showing once again that if India wins, advertisers, sponsors, broadcasters and marketers go home with big grins, IPL’s official broadcaster, SET MAX has raised the spot ad rates to a record level. A 10-second ad-spot on the channel during the league stages will cost Rs 8.5 lakh-nearly double what it cost last season. “Ad slot rates have gone up by over 25 per cent. We are yet to decide the packages for the semi-final,” said Rohit Gupta, president, Multi Screen Media, the company that runs SET MAX. According to media buyers, the channel has still kept around 20 per cent of unsold inventory where the rates can cross the Rs 11 lakh mark for 10 seconds in the final.advertisementClick here to EnlargeCelebrities, cheerleaders, cricket. It’s a heady cocktail of sports. New revenue streams opened up by Lalit Modi last year have added ballast to the bottomline-IPL’s two-year deal with Google for live telecast of the event on YouTube for $7 million, a blimp sponsorship with MRF for Rs 15 crore for 24 matches, strategic timeouts sponsored by Maxx Mobile for a year for Rs 17-20 crore and theatrical rights sold for Rs 330 crore-a whole new world of opportunity was unlocked. How many of them come a cropper in the post-Modi dispensation will be known as the new season unfolds.From a purely Return on Investment (RoI) perspective, the enterprise values of each of the original eight IPL teams has more than trebled. The winning bid price for the two new IPL teams, Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers, was $373 million and $333 million respectively. Compare this with $111 million, the winning price for Mumbai Indians, the costliest team in 2007. Now here is how it works to the detriment of the new teams. Rajasthan Royals, which bid the lowest at $67 million, has to pay a franchise fee of $6.7 million per year while Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers have to pay $37.3 million and $33.3 million respectively annually. In order to make profits, the entry cost has to be minimum and revenues maximum.Click here to EnlargeResearch by IIFL, an equity broking and consulting firm, points out that the most profitable franchises will earn Rs 108 crore, spend Rs 65 crore, thus making a profit of Rs 43 crore while the least profitable will earn Rs 114 crore and spend Rs 95 crore, making a profit of Rs 18 crore. For the most profitable franchise, central broadcasting revenues will be Rs 67.5 crore, central sponsorship revenues will be Rs 10.8 crore, team sponsorship will be Rs 15 crore, gate receipts Rs 10 crore, in stadia advertising Rs 2.5 crore, merchandise sales Rs 2 crore, and prize money Rs 1 crore. The costs will vary dramatically as the ones coughing up large franchise fees will take the biggest hit. Ditto for players’ salaries. Other heads like stadium fee (Rs 50 lakh for every match), travel and stay cost, and team promotions are more or less the same for all the franchises.The real big change is the big number-central broadcasting and central sponsorship on the revenue side. The eight original franchises will now have to share this with two new entrants. Will powerful franchise owners such as Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, Shah Rukh Khan and even N. Srinivasan, who is also secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, let their share of the central pool of Rs 67.5 crore plus Rs 10.8 crore remain the same? The IPL also continues to be a significant contributor to the bottomline for the listed companies-as much as 5 to 10 per cent of profits for GMR, United Spirits, India Cements and Deccan Chronicle.advertisementClick here to EnlargeLast year’s controversies, have, however, eroded the brand value of IPL by $460 million from $4.13 billion in 2010 to $3.67 billion in 2011, according to a Brand Finance report. According to Brand Finance, the brand value of Mumbai Indians is $57.13 million, followed by Chennai Super Kings with $55.37 million. The Vijay Mallya-owned franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore, is at third position with a brand value of $47.58 million. Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders’ consistent non-performance on the field for three seasons has seen the value remain unchanged. Kolkata Knight Riders’ brand value is $46.05 million, just a minor increase of $50,000 million over last year. Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab-the two most controversy-scarred teams-are valued the lowest. “As costs like players’ wages rise, the early commercial success of IPL will be tested. The honeymoon is well and truly over,” says Brand Finance India Managing Director M. Unni Krishnan. Not surprisingly, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab Mohit Burman says cryptically, “It is looking very bad, we will lose Rs 20 crore this year.” Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers, according to Brand Finance, are in a state of flux and seem to have lost their balance in key areas of cricketing excellence, while Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have to set their house in order to arrest erosion in their brand values.Click here to EnlargeAt different points in time, franchise owners have contemplated selling out-Delhi Daredevils owned by GMR, Rajasthan Royals owned by Emerging Media have both appointed advisors for a possible stake sale in the past while Kings XI Punjab nearly hawked the franchise to private equity firm ISIS Equity Partners. Will Season 4 bring them luck?