Jul 10, 2008

Sport - BCCI's 2nd innings with Champions T20

Twenty20 cricket is back again, but this time in an international avatar. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to offer telecast rights for the Champions Twenty20 tournament in which domestic clubs from various countries will battle it out for top honours this September.Telecast rights for the 15-match extravaganza over eight days are expected to fetch between Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 1,500 crore. The BCCI still has to decide whether to sell the rights for five or ten years.For the DLF IPL tournament, the Sony-World Sports Group consortium paid $1.03 billion (around Rs 4,120 crore) for telecast rights for ten years.Sony paid around 7 crore per match (for 59 matches) for the IPL. The cost of telecast rights per match in the new world Twenty20 will be Rs 6.6 crore to Rs 10 crore.Media experts expect an enthusiastic response to the tournament. "The one-dayer 50-50 format has died down. We expect that it will be possible to charge a premium for the Champion Twenty20 tournament," said an executive of Madison Media, a leading media buying agency."We are looking at an ad slot of Rs 3.5 lakh for ten seconds for main sponsors against IPL's Rs 2.5 lakh. We can cash in on the IPL's success and the tournament is just before Dussehra, the festival season," the executive added.Media sources, however, said the BCCI could also choose not to invite bids and sell the rights to any channel instead, since the tournament was a private property. BCCI vice-president and IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said: "The details of the procedure need to be finalised."Sources said the BCCI was still seeking clearance from some international boards (for participation), which was causing the delay.In the first year, the Champions Twenty20 will have four nations participating with two teams from each nation. As of now, only India, Australia and South Africa have confirmed their participation. The second year will witness seven nations participating, said Modi.The two teams representing India will be the finalists of the DLF IPL, which implies that for the first season Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings will play in the tournament.Meanwhile, a decision needs to be taken on international players. For instance, Australian cricketer Shane Watson plays for Rajasthan Royals. However with Australia participating in the league, the question is which team the cricketer should play for.

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