As most of the issues surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) season still stays unsorted, some of the franchises have now started losing hope for full-fledged IPL season in 2020.
InsideSport reached out to the top management of some of the IPL franchises and the response for a season this year was far from being upbeat. Surrounded with so much of uncertainty, some of the IPL franchises now feels that the season this year despite of best intent of BCCI has now started looking impossible.
IPL 2020 : Few franchises have started losing hope
According to one of the IPL franchise CEO lack of clarity has now started hurting the interests of the franchises, players and the sponsors. The franchise CEO told InsideSport that sponsors and players have started getting little jittery with all the uncertainty surrounding IPL 2020.
“We are still unsure about IPL season this year. Our foreign players have been sending messages for clarity on the season but like everyone else at this stage we don’t have any answers. BCCI has been updating us, but with each passing day we are losing hope now on IPL 2020.”, said Chief Executive Officer of one of the IPL franchise.
The biggest issue franchises are facing is the pressure from the team sponsors. Most of the franchises had sold more than 80-90% of their inventory on team kit before the IPL 2020 was indefinitely postponed in the month of March. The issue most of the franchise are facing is in regard to the sponsors pressure to reduce the earlier commercial commitments. In some cases team sponsors have even backed out from the commitments citing lack of clarity on the IPL season this year.
“Sponsors are really jittery at this stage, they have now started losing patience. They also want to negotiate on the previous deals. One of our Jersey sponsor also has moved out. We cannot go to the market and speak to the new sponsor as the IPL window is yet to be finalized. We want IPL 2020 to happen but it’s not looking too good at this stage”, said one of the top official representing Southern India based IPL franchise.
IPL 2020 : Star India’s Uday Shankar also had declared that ‘markets not conducive for IPL 2020’
Along with the view-point of some of the IPL franchises who are getting apprehensive about the season this year, Uday Shankar, chairman for Star & Disney India also had declared last week that the market is not ready to support the IPL 2020 with the same fervor and gusto in the current economic environment.
Shankar had said that he doubts if the market would recover in the next 6-8 weeks to put thousand of crores of advertising on this season of IPL.
“If it is one tournament where advertisers will put money that is IPL but only if they have to put monies. 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”, said the Star & Disney India Chairman.
Uday Shankar on IPL 2020 : BCCI keen but advertisers doubtful
Star India acquired global media rights of IPL in 2017 for whooping 16,347.5 crore for the period of five years. According to InsideSport’s estimate, Star India in its first two years of relationship with BCCI on IPL managed to generate advertising revenues in the range of 2000-2200 cr per season. Star was targeting magical figure of 3000 cr for the IPL 2020 advertising sales.
According to Uday, for Star and the other stakeholders, IPL only makes sense if the advertising activity is really substantial and that in the current economy is almost impossible.
‘IPL is an expensive tournament. We have paid huge monies to acquire the rights. For it to breakeven 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 market is ready to support and sustain IPL 2020’, declared Uday.
Uday also added that BCCI is extremely keen to go ahead with IPL season but provided the environment to conduct the event is safe.
“We don’t know at Star when exactly IPL will happen. Every engagement we had with BCCI, we get a sense they are extremely keen to do it sooner than later provided that environment is safe and they find a place which is safe to hold the tournament”.
“Right now anyway nothing can happen because monsoons have started, grounds are unserviceable. Hopefully when monsoon ends, virus gets diffused – we should get back to these talks” according to Shankar
Amid all these apprehensions, fears and concerns IPL 2020 still stays uncertain. With cancellation of T20 World Cup, BCCI may settle some of the issues – but on the commercial front it will be difficult for them to address the issues of the sponsors, franchises and the broadcaster.