The Indian cricket Board’s IPL profits this year are likely to take a hit as it had to pay the costs for organising the first phase in the UAE, it is learnt. The IPL is among the top revenue contributors for the Board, but shifting the first phase abroad means the outgo for BCCI would be much more than last year.
As per norm, franchises pay for everything, from stadium rent to medical costs and security expenses to lodging and travelling between cities in India. But in the run-up to this IPL, they had approached the BCCI requesting it to pitch in since the UAE is a costlier place and they would suffer huge revenue losses because they would not be able to play in India from the start.
According to a top BCCI official, the franchises had asked the IPL governing council for a waiver on almost their entire expenditure in the UAE which had left the BCCI unimpressed. “But for now we have agreed to pay part of the expenses,” he told HT on condition of anonymity.
“Normally the franchises pay the stadium rent. But this time, only three stadiums were shared among eight teams in the UAE. Also gate sales in the UAE were significantly lower than what franchises earn every match in India. So, we had agreed to pay the UAE authorities Rs 35 lakh per day on behalf of the teams,” he said. In India, a franchise would have to pay around Rs 30 lakh per day.
The IPL governing council has also agreed to pay for the medical and security costs. But the franchises have been pressing for more exemptions, prompting the BCCI to convene an IPL governing council meeting in Mumbai on Saturday. “The rest of the franchises’ demands will be assessed there,” he said.
According to the official, there is also the case of compensating state associations for the loss in their usual share of IPL profits. Each of the 25 state associations normally get around Rs 8-10 crore as their share of the revenue through TV rights.
Similar problems had risen during the 2009 edition that was hosted in South Africa. Lalit Modi, then IPL chairman, ensured the franchises didn’t suffer massive losses, though at the end of the year it was BCCI which took the hit with IPL profits lower by Rs 41.9 crore. But unlike in 2009, when the entire tournament was held in South Africa, this year could be different.
Although admitting that IPL revenues could take a hit, he didn’t want to put a number on the total sum spent by BCCI. “Since we are still in the middle of assessing the situation, it would be unwise to quote a figure. But it’s true the BCCI will have to pay out of its pocket,” he said.