Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 216


The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that a Chennai-based media corporation has bagged the Hyderabad franchise of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament for an annual fee of $15.81M, according to Amlan Chakraborty of REUTERS. The club was formerly known as the Deccan Chargers. BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale said that the Sun TV Network "made a bid significantly higher than the second highest offer of $12.83M." He added, "This franchise fee represents a premium of over a 100% above the amount paid by DCHL (Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd.) for the Hyderabad franchise in 2008." The new owners, engaged in producing and broadcasting satellite TV and radio software programming in the regional languages of south India, have "yet to announce the new name for the franchise" (REUTERS, 10/25). The TNN's K Shriniwas Rao reported Kalanithi Maran-led Sun TV will now pay Rs 85.05 crore ($15.9M) per year to the BCCI, "for the next ten years to own the franchise." The second-highest bidder PVP Ventures' bid was only 69.03 crore ($12.9M) per year. The BCCI had placed Rs 300 crore ($56M) as the base price for the team (TNN, 10/25). THE HINDU reported the new owner "will be given the opportunity to form a team and compete" in the IPL from '13 and in the Champions League T20 (THE HINDU, 10/25).

OPPORTUNITY TO STAY: In Chennai, Nandakumar Marar reported '12 Deccan Chargers players "will be available to the new franchise owner." BCCI President N Srinivasan said, "All players of Deccan Chargers are available to the new franchise. They have signed agreements, and the new owner will have time til October 31, 2012 to decide whom they want to retain." Players will not have to worry about payments. He said, "As far as the player is concerned, their interest is completely protected and have also been paid for the last year." Sun TV Network "has an extensive media business, with interests in newspaper and TV across many states."  Srinivasan said, "It (Sun Group) is a very credible franchise owner. They will add a lot of value to the league" (THE HINDU, 10/25). The PTI noted Sun TV Network CFO S L Narayanan said that the new franchise "had a fine set of Deccan Chargers cricketers" from which it can choose. Narayanan said, "What BCCI has advised us is that at our option we could retain the entire team. We also have opportunities to get more players."  He added, "It's a great team, but we will decide on the actual composition of the team and support staff in the next few days. We are very excited" (PTI, 10/25).

MAKING A NAME: The PTI reported new owner Kalanithi Maran "has come a long way from being a student leader" at Loyola College in Chennai to now being South India's biggest media baron. The 48-year-old, who is the son of former Union Minister for Commerce Murasoli Maran and elder brother of former union textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran, was chairman of Loyola's student wing, which had taken up the cause of Tamil people based in Sri Lanka in the mid-80s. According to Forbes, the Sun TV Network owner is currently "24th in the list of richest Indians." The "media moghul" has diverse business interests "from owning TV channels to having a sizeable stake in SpiceJet airlines," as well as venturing into satellite TV service and two Tamil newspapers. His company is also "into Tamil movie production, as Tollywood "is one of the biggest" film industries in the world (PTI, 10/25).

ManU has been "forced to issue an embarrassing apology" after the club offered sought-after derby tickets as a sweetener to potential corporate clients, according to Mike Keegan of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The team contacted would-be customers via email and told them that if they paid upward of £1,539 ($2,480) for sought-after seats and exec boxes at Old Trafford for the rest of the season, they would "receive two tickets for the clash with City at the Etihad Stadium" in December. Derby tickets are considered a hot commodity. Around 2,600 were allocated to ManU last season -- there were 20,000 applicants -- and the incentive has "prompted a furious reaction from supporters." But the club said that although the offer was discussed, it was "subsequently scrapped and should not have been sent out to potential new customers." Team bosses added that the tickets that would have been used "would have come from the staff allocation" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 10/25).

A senior partner with Scottish Third Division Rangers administrators Duff & Phelps knew former Owner Craig Whyte "had sold season ticket rights to buy the club despite publicly denying it," according to David Taylor of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The BBC "obtained a secret recording" in which it appears partner David Grier "admits to knowing about the shady deal." Duff & Phelps have "strenuously denied they were ever aware Whyte had sold four years of season tickets to fund his takeover"(DAILY RECORD, 10/25). The BBC's Mark Daly reported that Duff & Phelps "tried to persuade" Whyte to lie about their knowledge of the season-ticket deal, which was used to buy the club. Duff & Phelps asked Whyte to lie because they were afraid of U.K. tax authority HMRC would remove them as administrators over a potential conflict of interest." The revelations are contained in a recorded conversation between Grier and Whyte. Duff & Phelps has "not yet commented" (BBC, 10/25).

WHYTE'S LEGAL ADVICE: The SCOTSMAN reported that Whyte is "thought to be taking legal advice" ahead of a bid to sue Duff & Phelps over claims that they "reneged on a deal to return the troubled football club to him." Whyte claims that Duff & Phelps agreed on a £500,000 ($806,000) fee to "guide Rangers out of administration before handing the club back to him." However, Whyte said that "they dragged out the process to rack up a bill of around £3M ($4.9M) instead" (SCOTSMAN, 10/25).