Has the economic slowdown impacted cricket as well? Ahead of the IPL 2020, the BCCI has risked upsetting the IPL franchises by deciding to implement cost-cutting measures. The biggest regarding the cost-cut implementation is that IPL 2020 champions’ prize money. It will be halved as compared to 2019. The BCCI has already informed all the franchises. In the circular, the BCCI has notified that:
- instead of a whopping Rs 20 crore, the IPL champion team will now receive Rs 10 crore only.
- The runners-up used to get Rs 12.5 crore. Now it will receive half of the previous amount.
- The two losing qualifiers will now get Rs 4.375 crore each.
“The financial rewards have been reworked as a part of the cost-cutting measures. The champions will get Rs 10 crore instead of Rs 20 crore. The runners-up will get Rs 6.25 crore from earlier Rs 12.5 crore,” a BCCI notification read.
Explaining the rationale behind the BCCI’s decision to cut the prize money, a BCCI source said, “The franchises are all in good health. They also have multiple ways like sponsorships to bolster their income. Hence the decision on prize money taken.”
The report further stated that a state association hosting IPL games will get Rs 1 crore each with franchises and BCCI contributing Rs 50 lakh each.
IPL 2020 COVID-19
Till Thursday, the reported number of positive COVID-19 cases in India stood at 29, including 16 Italian tourists included.
However, none of the overseas recruits of eight IPL franchises has expressed any apprehensions about travelling to India.
Just over 60 players from cricket nations such as Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa and the Caribbean islands comprise the elite foreign brigade and the reported positive cases of coronavirus in all these countries are next to none.
“The IOC is saying Olympics in Tokyo will be held as per schedule. IPL is a minuscule tournament in that regard. If the Olympics can be held, there’s no reason why IPL can’t be held,” a BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
The second and perhaps the biggest reason is broadcasters.
Star Sports has bought the rights for Rs 16,347 crore (USD 2.55 billion) for a period of five years and their advertising revenues will take a huge hit if the tournament doesn’t go ahead as planned.
Former Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua explained the economics.
“Look Star, as well as BCCI, has got everything insured. I don’t know if there is any specific insurance cover for cancellation due to coronavirus but there is no chance of that happening if I read the situation properly,” Dua told PTI.
He then explained that even Star has got their TV rights deal insured.
“Like every insurance claim, they will not get probably 100 percent but 80 percent money will be recovered. But that’s not the point. The advertisement revenues will not come which is a huge loss. Personally, I see no reason for cancellation,” Dua said.
“Each and every match is also separately insured. So neither the BCCI nor the franchises will lose anything. But cancellation means scrapped for the year as this is the window. It can’t be rescheduled,” a senior BCCI official said.
The BCCI is also depending on the guidelines given by the government with regards to dealing with the health crisis.
“Every person availing international flights will be screened for coronavirus at the port of entry. That is the biggest health security measure. Obviously the BCCI will strictly adhere to any health advisory that government will issue,” a Board official said.
But since there is an advisory that social gatherings are inadvisable at this point, won’t it affect the league?
“You will only come to know once the ticket sales start. If the stadiums are packed, that means people are coming but if stands are largely empty, then you can presume that people are wary.”
Unless the top cricket boards advise their players against travelling to India, which is still not the case, IPL will start on 29 March in Mumbai.