The Governing Council of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) has today confirmed that the CLT20 competition will be discontinued with immediate effect.
The Governing Council of the CLT20, comprising representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) made the decision unanimously.
As such the 2015 CLT20 scheduled for September and October will not go ahead as planned.
The competition was launched in 2009 by the BCCI with CA and CSA. The Governing Council determined that the discontinuation of the league was the most appropriate decision due to the tournament’s limited public following.
Anurag Thakur, Honorary Secretary of the BCCI said, “This has been a difficult decision as the Champions League T20 provided added context to a number of domestic Twenty 20 competitions around the world such as the IPL in India, Big Bash League in Australia and South Africa’s Ram Slam T20. "
“It was a fantastic platform for players from around the world to showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience over the last six seasons. Unfortunately, off the field, Champions League T20 wasn’t sustaining the interest of the fans as we had hoped. This decision was made, after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved,” he added.
“The Governing Council would like to thank everyone involved with the CLT20 and all those who participated in the tournament. Further details associated with winding down the league including settling with the three nations that had invested time and effort in the competition, will be completed very soon,” said Thakur.
In an earlier article we had reported BCCI is set to scrap the Champions League T20 (CL T20) and is said to be planning on replacing it with a mini-version of the IPL with the top four team of IPL in UAE in September.
The BCCI has reportedly informed the other two cricketing boards of its intention to discontinue the tournament due to its dwindling interests. The reason for this is also that the leagues official broadcaster Star India’s incurring losses of $100 million (approximately Rs.500 crore) every year through the rights acquisition and they are not keen on continuing the association as a result, say some media reports. ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has acquired the rights to CL T20 in a 10-year deal starting 2008 at that time for an estimated $900 million. The scrapping of the league will mean that it will save roughly Rs.500 crore per year for the remaining four years. This would account to about Rs.2,000 crore for the network.
It was not only that the viewership was dwindling but with it the advertising revenues were reducing too. In terms of viewership the league in its second season had received viewership less than 1 TRP. This was also reflected in the advertising revenues. According to media reports while ESS has to pay $90 million per year the broadcasters was barely raking in $20 million a year through ad revenues. For instance Bharti Airtel which had signed a deal for $40 million for 5 years for the title sponsorship with ESS in 2009 had decided to end the deal after two years.