The coronavirus has sent the entire globe into a lockdown. The sports fraternity has also been affected with a number of events getting halted. There’s plenty at stake at the present point in time and cricket being an important sport, has been facing heat as well. In India, even the Indian Premier League (IPL) has had to bear the brunt of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The start of the tournament has been postponed from March 29 to April 15 after the government cancelled all the visas, barring a few category. Due to the chaos over the last few days, there could be a possibility of a shortened IPL, taking place without the foreign players.
If the IPL gets curtailed or cancelled, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could incur significant losses. The world’s richest cricket board gets around INR 400 million, translating to $5.38 million, annually from IPL’s broadcaster Star India and its pool of sponsors.
“The loss at this stage is notional. The biggest loser in any economic dynamics is always its biggest gainer, which is BCCI in this case,” Thomas Abraham, the co-founder of SportzPower, whose company monitors sports business in India, was quoted as saying in India Today.
VIVO unlikely to suffer much losses
“For STAR India, it’s also a loss of opportunity. It was building the India launch of its Disney+ OTT (streaming service) around the IPL,” he added.
A pruned IPL could lead to renegotiation with Star India. Vivo, the Chinese smart-phone maker, bagged the 2018-22 rights for INR 219 million isn’t likely to suffer much of a loss. “They would have been preparing for new launches around IPL. They can still do it,” Abraham added.
However, Vivo didn’t throw light on their plans of leveraging the IPL rights if the tournament gets truncated. “In light of the global health risk … we at Vivo completely support BCCI’s decision to postpone the series. We shall continuously evaluate the situation as it progresses,” Director of Vivo India’s Brand Strategy Nipun Marya mentioned.
The COVID-19 has also put to doubts the hosting the men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year on October 18. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is currently monitoring the situation. “We are planning for the event to go ahead as scheduled,” the ICC said on the tournament website.
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