Sony Entertainment Television-WSG purchased the media rights for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition for the massive total of $US 1 billion.
India’s Sony Entertainment Television Network in consortium with World Sports Group will hold the media rights for the next 10 years, beat out the bid from the ESPN sports network (owned jointly by Rupert Murdoch & Disney) with a bid of $US 1.026 billion dollars. The Board of Control for Cricket in India are to be congratulated on this coup, and it promises to make Twenty20 actually relevant – and relevance is not something that’s been associated with the shortest form of cricket thus far.
The IPL was developed by the BCCI, will be a Twenty20 tournament held over 44 days across 12 Indian cities. There’ll be 8 franchised teams, and the tournament is scheduled to start April 18th.
Each team will feature a squad of 16 players drawn from all over the world. The entire Indian squad that won the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship will participate, and it’s expected that many of the world’s best players will play, drawn by the promise of a huge payday. Each team will compete for the final prize purse of $US 3 million.
The BCCI released over the weekend some of the salaries of players within the IPL.
Shane Warne, the phenomenal spin-bowler (now retired from international cricket) will earn $US 400,000 per season…
Former Australian paceman Glenn McGrath, and New Zealander captain Stephen Fleming will each earn $350,000
Australian Justin Langer will get $175,000
Whilst no current Australian team member can play for the next 2 years, it’s believed that players like captain Ricky Ponting & Adam Gilchrist will command salaries of around $300,000. Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee and Michael Hussey will get marginally less.
Bids for the teams will be declared on January 24th, with reports that Peter Holmes-a-Court and Russell Crowe will be amongst those willing to fork out the base $US 50 million to purchase a franchise.
The successful bids will be declared on the 24th of January, and the player auction will occur on February 7th.
It should be an amazing yearly tournament.
Looking forward to it.