Zee Group is taking on the BCCI and the ICC by starting the Indian Cricket League. The BCCI guys are not happy.. but who gives a f***! They are SOOO archaic in their thoughts and SOOO messed up the cricket as a game.. that it is time to get some fun in a better way! It is clear that lot of politics has happened in cricket and people have messed up the players lives. With so much of money coming into the game… these idiots run it like their own empire! And worse.. they are not even players! I think Zee and others should shove the red tape…. nicely rolled up.. up their "you-know-what"!!! Here is an interview with Himanshu Modi, Head of Zee Sports
As a business proposition, how will the Indian Cricket League generate revenue?
Like the BCCI generates revenue from various fields — ground sponsorship, corporate branding of teams etc. We are also looking at corporate sponsors for the clubs we spoke of.
Is the ICL a kind of pressure tactic on the BCCI to give you the telecast rights for international cricket?
If the telecast rights are up for bidding again, Zee Sports will bid. The ICL league will however go on. This is not a ‘circus’ that will be called off like Kerry Packer did after the Australian Broadcasting Corporation gave Channel 9 the rights.
But the structure of your teams is unlikely to attract much interest and therefore there is little scope of high television viewership. A few international players and some budding cricketers have little mass appeal.
It will build up over time like English County Cricket. Earlier, during the India-Pakistan Friendship series, a cricket was attracting a 8.0 TVR or more. It has now steadily declined to a 2.5-4.0 TVR range. For the ICL league, with good marketing it will not be difficult to get at least half the TVR, and therefore half the ad rates. Antakshari as a television brand has been steadily built up since 1992. League cricket will similarly be built up as a long-term Essel Group property.
What corporate structure has been planned?
It is not a Zee property. Subhash Chandra has personally funded the venture along with IL&FS. A separate joint venture company with a separate management will be set up to run the clubs and league encounters with an initial start-up investment of around Rs 200 crore.
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