February 26, 2021

Professional Kabaddi rights could go for public sale as crew house owners flip down Star’s supply

MUMBAI: The media rights for Professional Kabaddi League (PKL), India’s second largest sports activities league, could go for public sale later this yr because the franchise house owners and league organiser Mashal Sports activities are caught in a logjam over the income share association proposed by rights holder Star India.

In accordance with sources throughout a number of franchises, all of the crew house owners have joined arms and requested for a good and neutral public sale in case current rights holder Star India doesn’t provide you with a greater supply.

“It’s a stalemate,” mentioned the proprietor of one of many franchisees. “All of us have requested Mashal Sport to conduct an public sale with no ‘Proper to Match’ to Star, similar to the IPL auctions. There may be a whole lot of worth in PKL and Star’s possession of Mashal Sport is a significant battle of curiosity.”

It’s discovered that Star India has provided between Rs 14-15 crore per yr to every of the franchisees as share from the media rights for the subsequent 5 years, whereas the franchises are taking a look at minimal Rs 22 crore per yr.

Some franchisees really feel that Star India, which is a majority curiosity proprietor in Mashal Sports activities, just isn’t in favour of unlocking the league’s true potential when it comes to media rights exploitation given the broadcaster’s battle of curiosity.

In 2015, after the primary season of PKL, Star India picked up 74% stake in Mashal Sports activities, permitting it full management over the league.

E mail question despatched to Star India and Mashal Sports activities didn’t elicit any response until press time Tuesday.

It is very important notice that it was Star India that took a significant guess on kabaddi, which was in any other case by no means thought of a TV sport.

In actual fact, Mashal Sports activities, which was based by Anand Mahindra and Charu Sharma in 1994, took virtually twenty years to get a broadcaster on board.

It was solely in 2014 when Star India got here on board and the primary season of PKL was launched, catapulting Kabaddi because the second most watched sport within the nation.

In the meantime, Srinivas Sreeramaneni, proprietor of Telugu Titans, advised ET that at present negotiations are present process. “Star had the precise of first refusal to provide you with a proposal. If their supply just isn’t agreed by everybody, we are going to go for auctions.”

Rajesh Shah, proprietor of three time PKL winner crew Patna Pirates, added, “The method of finalising the media rights for all franchises of PKL is as per the contracts signed by Mashal Sports activities and the franchises, and continuing as per contract.”

ET first reported concerning the rising tussle between Mashal Sports activities and franchises in December 2018.

Initially, the media rights of the league have been up for renewal from the 2020 version, and the franchise house owners have been fairly assured of a significant windfall.

Nevertheless, due to Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 version has been cancelled and the rights will go for the subsequent 5 yr cycle, beginning July 2020.