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Aircel Chennai Open gears up for its 20th edition. Mind It!

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Mumbai: The year saw many sports being launched in the country, reconfirming the belief that sports bug has bitten the country.



While India saw two new tennis leagues, Champions Tennis League and the International Premier Tennis League, being introduced, the Aircel Chennai Open slated to begin from 5 to 11 January 2015, will be in its 20th edition.



 Aircel remains the title sponsor till 2016, the platinum sponsors include Government of Tamil Nadu, Indian Bank, United India Assurance, Murugappa Group and Indian Overseas Bank. The official partners are FedEx, Ricoh, KGS , FIAT, The Hindu, Hyatt Regency, TATA water Plus, Billroth Hospitals, Air Asia, Wilson, Reliance Footprint, and Chennai Live FM. Tennishub.in will be ‘Official Merchandise Partner’ of the tournament.



Star Sports had bagged the broadcast deal for three years for the Open till 2016. Fans can watch the live telecast of group stage, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the open on its channels and live streaming will also be available on starsports.com.



The tournament, which first began in 1996 and owned by IMG and organised by IMG Reliance, has set a budget of Rs 12 crore. The title sponsor provides 42 per cent of the revenue which is five crore, the other sponsors bring in 37 per cent of the revenue amounting Rs 4.5 crore, the broadcast partner brings in 17 per cent of the revenue share, which is close to two crore while the ticket revenue is pegged close to Rs 50 lakh.



For this year’s edition the assembly of talent includes four top-25 players and three 2014 ATP World Tour Award winners who will be participating. These include world number four and defending Singles champion Stan Wawrinka, Feliciano Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut, and former Champion Janko Tipsarevic, returning to competitive tennis after surgery and granted a wild card. India’s Somdev Devvarman and Ramkumar Ramanathan have been granted wild cards



The tickets of the tournament have been priced at Rs 5,000, 3,000 and 1,500 on the tournaments official ticketing partner, bookmyshow.com.



Speaking about the three tennis league in India, GroupM ESP national director entertainment sports and live events Vinit Karnik says, “The Champions Tennis League may need some improvement, while the IPTL has created a mark in terms of visibility because of the big stars . Tennis is still considered to be a premium sport. Therefore, one needs to build affinity for the sport, since the affinity levels are low because there are not many people playing the sport. Therefore consistency, in terms of ratings, viewership and followers will not be there for the three leagues.  But these three are trying to create enough buzz that at least the urban youth start playing tennis.” he concludes.

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