Television

Essel Group to enter global sports biz; focus on cricket

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MUMBAI: Essel Group has rubbished media reports stating that the Subhash Chandra owned company was registering entity with names that appear to be rival national cricket boards.

It may be recalled that way back in 2007, Essel Group had launched the Indian Cricket League, which did not meet with success.

In an official statement, Essel Group pooh-poohed reports, which said that Ten Sports Network was registering certain entities pertaining to cricket as a sport.

?We would like to clarify that the same is not true, since Ten Sports Network has no connection to this initiative, it being a sports network owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., a publicly listed company on Indian stock exchanges. Ten Sports Network holds the broadcast rights for five major cricketing boards namely South Africa (CSA), Zimbabwe (ZC), West Indies (WICB), Sri Lanka (SLC) and Pakistan (PCB) and many other premier sporting events like UEFA Champions League, US Open and WWE. It is a dominant player in the cricket broadcasting and production arena,? the company said.

That said, Essel Group, however has been analysing the sports market and is looking at entering the sports business at a global level, with a focus on cricket.

?The reports reflect an extremely positive trend, indicating our nation as a sports-loving nation, than just a cricket-loving nation. Our nation has produced several sports heroes in the realm of badminton, tennis, wrestling, golf, air rifle, etc. that have earned significant reputation not only for themselves but also for India. In order to enhance the overall sports business, we look forward to the entry of other Indian business houses as well. Essel Group is now geared up to enter the sports business at a global level, focusing on cricket, since it has been limited to Commonwealth countries. Our research reflects that there is an immense opportunity to make it a global sport,? the company said.

The official statement also clarified that Lalit Modi had no linkage whatsoever with Essel Group in this initiative. ?Essel Group is independently taking up this initiative on its own accord,? it added.

The statement further read, ?Essel Group takes immense pride in being the pioneer to grow and develop the domestic cricket market in India, with the launch of Indian Cricket League way back in 2007. Indian Premier League followed the footsteps of Indian Cricket League. Essel Group also owns the Mumbai Football Club for the last seven years.? 

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