The 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 according to media reports. The CL T20 was jointly owned by the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa and was started in 2008 as an annual tournament where the top teams of leagues around the world come together to compete against each other.
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.