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BCCI Sets The Bar: Base Price For Women’s IPL Franchise Will be Rs 400 Crore

By: K Shriniwas Rao

News18.com

Last Updated: November 29, 2022, 15:25 IST

Mumbai, India

The BCCI will sell the women’s IPL franchises and the broadcast rights by way of a closed bid. (Pic Credit: BCCI)

The BCCI will sell the women’s IPL franchises and the broadcast rights by way of a closed bid. (Pic Credit: BCCI)

The BCCI has asked the existing men’s IPL team owners to participate in the bidding but the tender process is open to any and all investors who meet the cricket board’s minimum eligibility criteria

The BCCI, looking to auction five franchises for the upcoming women’s T20 league starting March 2023 by way of a closed tender, has kept the base price at Rs 400 crore (USD 50m approx.).

The cricket board has arrived at this decision by taking into account the value of the costliest franchise that was sold back in 2007-08 – Mumbai Indians at USD 111.9m (approx. Rs 446 cr) at Rs 40 / dollar.

Also Read: Make Way Please, The Women’s T20 League is Here

“The benchmark had to be set somewhere and the BCCI had been gathering a bit of market intelligence on this, keeping in mind the demand and market interest,” those in the know of developments say.

The Board expects franchise to be sold between Rs 1000 and Rs 1500 crore, or even more, depending on the kind of interest the auction generates once the tender document is out. However, nobody is ready yet to speak about these expectations on record.

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“The winning franchise will pay the ownership fees to the BCCI over a period of five years in equal instalments and continue to own the property for perpetuity, like in the men’s IPL,” add those in the know.

If the value of the US dollar from 15 years ago is taken into consideration, the current base price (Rs 400 cr) set by the cricket board is slightly lesser than the value at which the costliest franchise (Mumbai Indians) was sold in the Indian Premier League (IPL) back in 2007-08 (Rs 446 cr / US$111.9m).

BCCI could be looking to raise anywhere between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8000 crore. (BCCI Photo)

In doing so, the BCCI could be looking to raise anywhere between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8000 crore (in the range of a billion dollars) from the sale of these five franchises.

Cricket board could be missing a few tricks

The BCCI has asked the existing men’s IPL team owners to participate in the bidding but the tender process is open to any and all investors who meet the cricket board’s minimum eligibility criteria. There is no guarantee whatsoever that should the bid of an existing IPL franchise owner and a new investor match, any preference shall be given to the existing franchise owner.

In doing this, the BCCI could be missing out on a few tricks. Here’s what some industry executives have to say on the matter:

  • If men’s IPL franchise owners are allowed to bid for women’s franchises too, profits from men’s IPL can be reinvested in the women’s game. For a newcomer, this will clearly be a loss-making enterprise for a while. So, will it be sustainable on the longer run?
  • By not giving men’s IPL franchise owners a preference, the BCCI is potentially losing an opportunity on the learnings that existing team owners have had over the course of time, IPs, operational synergies, the traction that can be generated from existing businesses that can be beneficial to women’s cricket and more.
  • Long-term running of a franchise, ensuring good infrastructure, building of a brand, etc, can be done in a far smoother manner if existing franchises are involved.

Further, as a reference point, BCCI can take into consideration that the English Premier League’s women’s leg – the Women’s Super League – has all 12 EPL club owners. In women’s NBA in the US, the existing clubs were given first rights of refusal in their region and when the women’s teams were handed out, four NBA clubs took the rights reserved while four other teams were bought by individuals owning clubs in the NFL.

“The BCCI should have a very strict and specific technical bid in this case. If an existing franchise owner and a new investor were to put in the same financial bid, the technical bid should allow the bidder with more experience in this space to prevail. It will be good for the women’s league on the longer run,” industry voices say.

For the record, the BCCI will sell the women’s IPL franchises and the broadcast rights by way of a closed bid and not an e-auction.

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first published:November 29, 2022, 15:25 IST
last updated:November 29, 2022, 15:25 IST
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