Archive for May, 2012

BCCI should extend IPL brand to some BCCI Properties involving ODI and test formats!

By Samir Pai

The jury is still out on the IPL V success and while the critics are having a field day, one needs to understand that the property is here to stay. Gate receipts have increased many folds and despite fluctuating television viewing, following of the sport property is definitely on the rise. Just like the India story in the larger economic sphere, cycles will be part of IPL’s future trajectory! However in the final analysis IPL & India as a brand still exhibit a positive story, provided correct policy decisions are taken.

In my personal view BCCI is like a grand public sector unit that has social objectives to achieve and despite a few discrepancies are doing a fine job. However are they monetizing their full potential? The answer in my opinion is no. Yes their business acumen complimented by India being a single dominant sport nation, has helped them price their property (international cricket) and IPL at premium rates, however as seen with the TRP’s of their IPL V which may be a temporary setback, they may feel the pinch in the future with the growth of other sporting disciplines and the prevailing macro economic situation in the country.

Time has come for BCCI to induct some private equity into some of its properties, much like what the disinvestment in PSU’s did for India in the early decade of the new millennium. Certain properties like the Ranji trophy and Deodhar trophy should be kept strictly within the purview of the state associations, much like the defense and health sector in the larger economic sphere. However there are a few properties which can be disinvested to private players like the IPL franchisees, for generating extra revenues and giving impetus to the other two formats of the game (ODI & tests). In my opinion two such identified properties, are the Challengers series (ODI) and Duleep trophy (Zonal format of the longer format of the game). Both properties do not fall under the purview of any state association and therefore lack a regional following or interest, as say the Ranji trophy or Deodhar trophy which has state teams being represented. It also allows IPL franchisees and other prospective private players to increase their scope of operations and revenues, making their sports ventures economically more viable. Another big advantage of this is for tapping in further broadcast revenues from the new emerging sports broadcast players ( Sony sixer, ESPN- Star demerger, Ten Cricket), hungry for viable sporting content to broadcast on their sports channels.

It’s time for the leadership in BCCI to show that they can create economically lucrative properties at the domestic levels in all formats of the game. The ball is in their court whether to rest of the laurels of the present sports scenario or see the vision to make it bigger and grander on opportunities that exist.


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