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US baseball vs IPL: It's million-dollar question

IPL's most valued Mumbai team, owned by Mukesh Ambani, is not even one-tenth the value of top American baseball team New York Yankees, as per a list released by Forbes.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 20, 2008 04:32 PM IST

The hype and hoopla over Twenty20 cricket's Indian Premier League notwithstanding, its most valued Mumbai team, owned by the country's richest person Mukesh Ambani, is not even one-tenth the value of top American baseball team New York Yankees.

According to a new list of the 30 Major League Baseball teams, published in a special edition of business magazine Forbes and ranked on the basis of their valuation, New York Yankees are currently valued at $1.306 billion.

In comparison, all the eight IPL teams, currently fighting for the league's first ever trophy in India, together carry a value tag of just about half this figure at 723.7 million dollars.

Besides, even the most valued IPL team carries a value less than the least valued of the 30 MLB teams. Mumbai IPL team, which is owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani who runs the country's most valued corporate house, is valued at $111.9 million-- greater than any other team of the league.

It is closely followed by Bangalore IPL team, owned by another billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya, with a team value of 111.6 million dollars, while Hyderabad IPL team -- owned by media house Deccan Chronicle -- is the only other IPL team with a valuation of over 100 million dollar.

In comparison, the least valued among all the 30 teams of MLB -- which operates North America's two topmost professional baseball leagues, the National League and the American League -- has a value of 256 million dollars.

However, New York Yankees is the only team currently valued at over $one billion, according to Forbes list. The eight IPL teams have an average valuation of about 90.5 million dollars, which is just about one-fifth of the average worth of the 30 MLB teams.

Among other IPL teams, Chennai team, owned by India Cement, is valued at $91million, infrastructure major GMR Holdings' Delhi IPL team is worth $84 million and Punjab squad, owned by Bollywood star Preity Zinta and Wadia group's Ness Wadia, is valued at $76 million.

Besides, Kolkata IPL team, owned by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and which won its first IPL match against Mallya's team, his valued at $75.09 million and Rajasthan IPL team, owned by Emerging India, carries a valuation tag of $67 million.

In addition to their high-profile owners, these teams have a host of cricketers of national and international fame as their players.

While it is yet to be seen whether the values of IPL teams goes up or down in the future, the valuations of all the 30 MLB teams have increased in the past one year with an average rise of close to 10 per cent.

Besides, their aggregate revenue has been calculated at about $5.5 billion by Forbes. According to the list, New York Yankees is followed by New York Mets ($824 million), Boston Red Sox ($816 million), Los Angeles Dodgers ($694 million) and Chicago Cubs ($642 million). All other teams are valued between $250-500 million.

While both Baseball and Cricket carry similar kind of status in the US and India respectively, the money to be earned by IPL would be known only in the days to come, said a market observer.

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