Chennai-based Sun TV Networks Ltd, one of India's biggest television networks owned by Kalanithi Maran, has won the bid for Indian Premier League team Deccan Chargers on Thursday, replacing previous franchisee Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd.
Sun’s five-year deal of Rs 85.05 crore (around $15.9m) a year, while Deccan Chronicle paid Rs 58.85 crore ($107m) for 10 years in 2008 to acquire the team. PVP Ventures, which offered Rs 69.03 crore (around $12.06 million) a year, went out of the race.
But the value has dipped if one goes by what Sahara Group splurged on the Pune Warriors in 2008 — $370 million (Rs 2,035 crore) for 10 years.Contrary to predictions, there weren't many takers for the IPL franchise. According to a governing council member, four sets of tender papers were picked up and only two returned.
Kalanithi, brother of former union minister Dayanidhi Maran, is the son of former union minister the late Murasoli Maran, whose uncle is DMK chief and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi.
Sun's investment in the IPL will count among the group’s 32 TV channels, 45 radio stations, a film production company, DTH services and an airline — SpiceJet Airlines.
The franchise now has the option of retaining players of their choice, a decision they have to take by October 31. Dale Steyn, Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White, JP Duminy, Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma are some of the big names that are likely to be retained.
"We also have opportunities to get more players; there are outstanding cricketing names here. It is a great team but we will decide on the actual composition of the team and support staff in the next few days," said Sun TV Network CFO SL Narayanan, who represented the organisation in Thursday's meeting.