SBD Global/October 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • IMG-Reliance, Star India Team To Launch Indian Super League Football Championship

    IMG-Reliance and Star India have announced the launch of the Indian Super League football championship. The Indian Super League will feature teams in eight cities, with the hopes of tapping into the country's youth and qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. The league will begin Jan. 18 and run through March. Star India owns broadcast rights and will monetize content on and off the field. IMG-Reliance Chair Nita Ambani said, "Football, with its largely untapped potential in the country, has the opportunity to grow to an unrivaled commercial success quite unlike any other sport" (IMG). In Mumbai, Marcus Mergulhao reported IMG-Reliance is "going ahead with their plans of staging a football tournament without the inclusion of any players from the I-League, India's premier football competition." IMG-Reliance, the marketing partners of the All India Football Federation, have "hardly seen eye-to-eye with the I-League clubs who feel that the tournament is the biggest threat to their existence." An IMG-Reliance official said, "We are not having any (more) discussion with the I-League clubs. They have stuck to their decision not to release their players and we have no issues with that" (TIMES OF INDIA, 10/21). TNN's Anand & Rao reported former Arsenal, ManU and Chelsea players Thierry Henry, Dwight Yorke, Fredrik Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Louis Saha and Hernan Crespo "could soon be playing in your neighbourhood." The franchises -- to be determined through an auction early next month -- will also hire names like former ManU goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly as "managers to coach these teams." The invitation to tender document "has already been floated" by IMG-Reliance and the base price to buy a franchise is learned to be around Rs 25 crore ($4M) (TNN, 10/21).

    BROADCAST DEAL: In Mumbai, Rao also reported IMG-Reliance has "entered into a multi-million dollar deal with Star India to become equity partners" in a joint venture for the next 10 years to run the proposed football league. Under the agreement, Star will hold a 30% stake in the joint venture with IMG-Reliance to "broadcast and promote" the football league in the country. The IMG-R and Star India's joint venture has decided to distribute 100% of the TV revenue to "its franchise owners in the tournament's first year" (TIMES OF INDIA 10/21). In London, Roger Blitz wrote that the Star Indian investment "is worth between RS15B-RS over 10 years," citing Indian sources. Unlike cricket's IPL, the ISL "is largely a top-down approach to growing football in the country." IMG's Jeff Slack said, "Indian just doesn't have a grass-roots program. If we did that, it's not going to inspire many kids" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/21).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, India
  • Australian Cricketers Take Aim At Scheduling Of Domestic Cricket, Request 50-Over Makeover

    AUSTRALIAN cricketers have taken aim at the scheduling of domestic cricket and what they perceive to be a crackdown on minor violations of the code of conduct, including one incident where a player was fined for swearing in the dressing rooms.

    Players met last week in Sydney to express their concerns with the falling standards of cricket in the country and to work out ways to address the issues.

    There has been longstanding dissatisfaction with the amount of time devoted to the Big Bash, but those protests fell on deaf ears at Cricket Australia, with the tournament lengthened this year.

    The players are also upset that with the World Cup due next year, the Ryobi one-day domestic competition has been cut back from 10 matches a season in 2011-12 to eight in 2012-13 and six this year.

    - See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/cricket/players-want-50-over-makeover/story-e6frg7rx-1226744077904#sthash.cMBLb8X9.dpuf

    AUSTRALIAN cricketers have taken aim at the scheduling of domestic cricket and what they perceive to be a crackdown on minor violations of the code of conduct, including one incident where a player was fined for swearing in the dressing rooms.

    Players met last week in Sydney to express their concerns with the falling standards of cricket in the country and to work out ways to address the issues.

    There has been longstanding dissatisfaction with the amount of time devoted to the Big Bash, but those protests fell on deaf ears at Cricket Australia, with the tournament lengthened this year.

    The players are also upset that with the World Cup due next year, the Ryobi one-day domestic competition has been cut back from 10 matches a season in 2011-12 to eight in 2012-13 and six this year.

    - See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/cricket/players-want-50-over-makeover/story-e6frg7rx-1226744077904#sthash.cMBLb8X9.dpuf
    Australian cricketers have "taken aim at the scheduling of domestic cricket and what they perceive to be a crackdown on minor violations of the code of conduct, including one incident where a player was fined for swearing in the dressing rooms," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. Players met last week in Sydney to "express their concerns with the falling standards of cricket in the country and to work out ways to address the issues." There has been "longstanding dissatisfaction" with the amount of time devoted to the Big Bash, but those protests "fell on deaf ears at Cricket Australia, with the tournament lengthened this year." The players are also "upset that with the World Cup due next year, the Ryobi one-day domestic competition has been cut back from 10 matches a season" in '11-12 to eight in '12-13 and six this year. Australian Cricketers' Association CEO Paul Marsh said that "he did not want to comment on the player meeting or the State of the Game report that they hope to present to Cricket Australia later this year, but confirmed there was a proposal to break the Ryobi Cup into two periods" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/22).

    'STILL THE ONE': In Canberra, David Polkinghorne reported the Cricket World Cup's controlling body said the "50-over format is still the most popular form of the sport worldwide and it is confident fans will flock to the games" in '15 because "it's real." Canberra will host three games of the World Cup at a "revamped Manuka Oval featuring previous winners South Africa and the West Indies as well as Cinderella story Afghanistan." Int'l Cricket Council Cricket World Cup organizing committee CEO John Harnden was "confident of high interest in the tournament, despite the format's woes." Harnden said that playing for the World Cup "gave every game relevance." Harnden: "This is about the World Cup, this is about the prize everyone wants to win and 50-over cricket is still the most popular form of cricket on a global basis" (CANBERRA TIMES, 10/22).

    Print | Tags: Australia, Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • NBA Increasingly Using Preseason Games As Way To Promote League Globally

    The NBA "increasingly sees the preseason as vital for spreading the NBA gospel at home and abroad," according to Scott Cacciola of the N.Y. TIMES. This preseason, 28% of the games "are being played at nonleague locations." In fact, NBA teams are "collectively logging more than 200,000 miles of preseason travel to destinations as diverse as Biloxi, Miss., and Istanbul." The Thunder played two games in Europe this month, while the Rockets and Pacers "faced each other in the Philippines and in Taiwan." The Warriors and Lakers last week had "a two-game swing through China." Those exhibitions were "all part of what the league has branded the NBA Global Games: eight preseason and two regular-season games featuring 12 teams in seven countries." NBA Commissioner David Stern said, "They’re our attempt to grow the game." He added the league was "serious about bringing this sport to the greatest number of people." The league's preseason excursions "have also been a boon for arenas -- and secondary markets -- that seldom have the opportunity to host NBA games." The Knicks’ game against the Wizards last Thursday had "an announced attendance of 12,376, a sellout, at Baltimore Arena, a 51-year-old building that has seen brighter days" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/20).

    TIME FOR THE REAL THING? The AP reported Stern on Friday did not "speculate how long it would be until a regular season game would be played in China," instead "passing the baton" to his successor, NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver. Stern said, "The level of cooperation with the Shanghai sports bureau means we will continue to favor Shanghai with games in the future. Regular-season games are for Commissioner Silver and [Shanghai Sports Bureau Dir Li Yuyi] to decide" (AP, 10/18).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, North America
  • Australian National Basketball League CEO Believes League Can Double In Size

    Australian National Basketball League CEO Fraser Neill "believes the league has the potential to double in size in the next five seasons," according to Roy Ward of THE AGE. Neill is reviewing "each club and working to boost the exposure of the league in all age groups." Neill said that the league "had to attract more support and that he would not restrict growth as long as new franchises had a sound base of money and support." Neill: "I don't see why we can't double these teams in the next five years and be the only sport to have teams across the whole country -- that's my ambition." Neill said that the NBL and clubs "had to do more to boost media coverage while also reaching out to all age groups." Neill said, "The big thing for us is to make people aware that it's out there because, from my experience, once people go to games they want to come back again" (THE AGE, 10/22).

    Print | Tags: Australia, Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • Pakistan Court Orders Election Of Cricket Chief To Be Held By Nov. 2

    The turmoil at the top of Pakistan cricket took another turn on Monday "as a court ordered elections for the board chairman to be held in two weeks," according to the AFP. The ruling by the Islamabad High Court "appears to have scuppered moves" by a new interim management committee to delay choosing a permanent chairman for the Pakistan Cricket Board. The PCB has been in uproar since May, "when the Islamabad court threw out the then-chairman Zaka Ashraf over what it called the 'dubious' process by which he was elected." PM Nawaz Sharif appointed veteran journalist Najam Sethi as interim PCB chairman in June, "but a month later the court ordered Sethi to hold elections" by Oct. 18. PCB legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said that "the court had ordered elections for the post of chairman" to be held by Nov. 2 (AFP, 10/21).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Asia
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