BCCI chief uncertain about future of IPL amid Covid19 crisis

It has been over ten days since the tournament was postponed to 15 April

MUMBAI: Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly is uncertain about the future of the IPL tournament amid rising cases of the novel coronavirus in the nation.

He told the Press Trust of India, “I can’t say anything at the moment. We are at the same place where we were on the day we postponed. Nothing has changed in the last 10 days. So, I don’t have an answer to it. Status quo remains.”

Prime minister Narendra Modi during his address to the nation on Tuesday put the whole country under lockdown for the next 21 days, to curb the spread of the novel virus. He urged citizens to stay home and follow the shutdown religiously. The 21-day lockdown period completes on 15 April, the date to which the IPL has been suspended till.

Ruling out any possibility of something being planned three or four months down the line, the BCCI chief says, “You can’t plan anything. The FTP is scheduled. It’s there and you can’t change the FTP. All around the world, cricket, and more so sports have stopped.”

Estimates are that close to $1.5 billion is riding behind the IPL in terms of advertising, sponsorships and ticket sales. Moreover, Duff & Phelps, a global advisor that helps clients protect, restore and maximise value, has expected a loss for the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In its IPL Brand Valuation Report 2019, it has considered two scenarios: 1) Truncated IPL with the number of matches reduced to half; 2) The entire IPL 13 season getting cancelled.

The report says, “Under scenario one, the IPL ecosystem value estimated by the Duff and Phelps last year is expected to reduce by $200-350 million range (3-5 per cent). Whereas, in the second scenario IPL ecosystem value to reduce by $700-1,000 million range (around 10-15 per cent).”

It will have to be seen how the suspension will impact the revenue potential of the league. And, how the BCCI will compensate telecast rights holder Star India for the loss of telecast days, if such a need does arise. It was expected that Star would raise close to Rs 3,000 crore this year through the IPL in terms of partnerships, sponsorships and air time deals.

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