Promoters of India's Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) are trying to secure lucrative media deals for the years to come, as the current season – which features Bollywood and South Indian movie stars - reaches its climax.
As Chennai Rhinos take on Karnataka Bulldozers in the Hyderabad final today (12 February), CCL creator Vishnu Vardhan Induri has reportedly sold the league's six franchise owners a 30% stake in the company which owns the rights to the tournament.
The entrepreneur also now plans to sell 10% for between INR250-300 crore, potentially to a media company, according to the Economic Times.
"We aren't just treating this as a game of cricket. This can be seen as an extension of reality TV content, which is a very successful concept in India," Induri told the newspaper.
International television rights for the current season of CCL were awarded to TV Asia and Channel 9, and have attracted significant audiences wooed by the heady cocktail of film stars and cricket.
The successful combination has also set the tournament in motion to become profitable during the current fiscal year, just two year's after its birth.
The CCL franchise owners, such as Bollywood star Salman Khan's brother Sohail (Mumbai Heroes), currently receive 7.5% of the revenue generated by the Parle sponsorship deal, in addition to that earned from the sale of satellite TV rights. They also receive 70% of the ticket sales – with the remainder going to the league's promoters.
Plans are afoot for an additional two more CCL teams, as well as a tour of Singapore and Malaysia to entertain Indian expatriates based there. Further into the future, an initial public offering is reportedly expected in two to three years time.