The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conducted an emergency Apex Council meeting on Monday (December 9), with the major topics of discussion being Byju’s desire to withdraw from the Indian team’s jersey sponsorship and Star Sports’ letter requesting a course correction on the rights value. Cricbuzz has learned that decisions on both topics have been postponed, although the board may reach an agreement with the two groups.
The Star dispute, it is learned, involves a pricing structure for international games worth more than Rs 180 crores (exact value to be determined), with the regulator (the BCCI) and broadcaster (Star) disagreeing on the validity of the original Media Rights Agreement (MRA). It is especially regarding a postponed series against South Africa, in which the BCCI wants to use the current rate but Star insists on using the old rates.
MPL as the kit sponsor of the Indian team (BCCI)
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The overall value of an international game was about INR 60 crore per match on average, according to the five-year MRA signed in 2018, but in the fine print, Star was required to pay INR 46 crore per game in the first year, INR 47 crore in the second year, INR 46.5 crore in the third year, INR 77.4 crore in the fourth year, and INR 78.9 crore in the fifth and final year. The parties are at odds over a six-match white ball series against South Africa, which was postponed owing to Covid in early 2020, which would have been the MRA’s third year.
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The matches were played last year, in September and October 2022, which would be the agreement’s last year. The BCCI is said to have invoiced the charge at the previous year’s rate (Rs 78.9), and Star wants the value to be calculated at the third year’s pricing (Rs 46.5). The subject was addressed and a decision was postponed during the Apex Council meeting, which was conducted virtually. The parties are likely to reach an agreement.
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Meanwhile, on the subject of Byju’s, the BCCI may proceed to encash the bank guarantee in its possession. The Edtech business, which has recently been in the headlines for the wrong reasons, seems to want to leave its sponsorship deal in order to prevent excessive brand publicity. Byju’s deal runs through November 2023, although the BCCI is thought to have asked the firm to continue until March 31, when the current sponsorship cycle begins.
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MPL is being replaced by Killer Brand
In another connected move, Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited (KKCL or Killer), a clothing manufacturing firm, has taken over as the Indian team’s kit sponsor from MPL. MPL, an e-sports platform, has withdrawn from the agreement, which was valid through December of this year. MPL was paying Rs 65 lakh each game, and the rights transfer may not be complete. MPL is reported to have paid Spo a portion of its responsibility, thus KKCL’s charge might be lower.
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