The Board for Control of Cricket in India may be keen on holding the Indian Premier League later this year if the T20 World Cup is postponed but official broadcaster Star and Disney India have sounded a note of caution saying the market hasn’t recovered enough to fund the cash-rich tournament.
The 13th edition of the IPL had to be postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that gripped the world in March this year and BCCI officials are hoping to host the event in October-November, even behind closed doors.
However, President of Walt Disney Company, APAC, and Chairman, Star & Disney India Uday Shankar isn’t very optimistic and feels that the broadcaster may not even be able to breakeven in the current financial scenario.
“The market has gone through massive shock. Whether it would recover enough to put thousand of crores worth of advertising in next 6-8 weeks is the real issue and we doubt that,” he was quoted as saying by ET Now.
“IPL is an expensive tournament. We have paid huge monies to acquire the rights. For it to break even for us, for the other stakeholders, the advertising activity needs to be really substantial. Given the kind of economic shock we have seen during these times, I am not sure if the market is ready to support and sustain IPL 2020,” he added.
Star paid a whopping Rs 16,347.50 crore for a five-year deal starting from the 2017 IPL edition and would have been hoping for strong returns this year. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent border clashes with China have complicated things on the revenue front.
The Indian government has banned 59 Chinese apps last week and public pressure has been increasing on BCCI to part with its title sponsor Vivo.
Shankar admitted that if that happens, they would have to look for other revenue models to make the product financially feasible.
“If company X or Y is not there because in larger social or national interest it has been decided (to ban them), then we will have to figure out a different monetisation model,” he was quoted as saying by exchange4media.com.