IPG incurs loss of USD 2.4 Million from LPL 2020
BY ANJANA KALUARACHCHI
Rights holder of Lanka Premier League (LPL), Dubai based Innovative Production Group FZE (IPG), had incurred a loss of approximately USD 2.4 Million by hosting the inaugural edition of the LPL, and hence, made several requests from SLC to cover the losses.
In a letter dated 29 September to SLC, Anil Mohan Sankhdhar, who is founder/CEO of IPG, had revealed that they incurred the loss in the inaugural edition, which was held amid COVID-19 pandemic in a bio secure bubble behind closed doors, which deprived them from gate collection, while also having to spend more than they anticipated to stage the league. They have therefore requested the rights of LPL for another five years when their current contract ends with the 2024 LPL.
Mohan said he is yet to get a reply from SLC during a press conference regarding LPL held on Thursday. “The reason for my humble request to permit IPG to have the matching rights for the next 5 years is the loss incurred by IPG in the first edition could take at least up to the 4th year to recover, and it is in the 5th year that we hope to breakeven or start turning the corner on the bottom line. Hence, the opportunity to have the matching rights would help IPG to be financially viable with its investment in the LPL at the end of the next five years, and therefore we request your kind consideration in that regard,” Mohan concluded the letter.
Meanwhile, SLC Board Meeting minutes of last July reveal that IPG had received other benefits too from SLC, which was not a part of the initial contract which they signed for a period of five years to pay 1.9 million USD for the first two years and 1.9 million with 11% yearly increment for the next three years. These benefits were granted by SLC following IPG’s request citing that they were deprived from ticket sales revenue due to the pandemic.
SLC had agreed to waive off their percentage from the central pool revenue, which comes to a total of USD 154,296.80, which consist of 10% from broadcasting rights fee, 10% of ground right fee and 20% of Digital rights income. Also, SLC Executive Committee at the same meeting decided to inform Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa about the matter to avoid any audit queries which may arise due to the decision.
IPG has also requested SLC to waive off central pool revenue for 2021 too to cover any losses which may occur due to possibility of deprived gate income, where the medical committee has now allowed 50% of the public to attend LPL matches subject to them being fully vaccinated. IPG was also granted 100% exclusive territorial digital rights for LPL for four years from 2021 subject to conditions, such as IPG shall pay USD 35,000 to SLC annually if digital rights income is less than USD 100,000 and 35% of digital rights income if the income exceeds USD 100,000.
SLC will also reserve the right to market and host via it’s official website and other digital platforms owned by SLC in respect of each LPL match after holdback of 3 hours from the start of the relevant match. Apart from that, SLC spent a total of Rs 19,557,100 as PCR expenses for LPL 2020 for franchise teams, which had been revised to Rs 15,000,000 after discussion with Chairman of Nawaloka Hospital and CEO SLC. SLC recommended that IPG bear 50% of the cost which IPG had agreed upon.
Meanwhile, SLC had also recovered a total of USD 57,000 (anti-corruption fee for 2020 edition), but from 2021 onwards SLC will fully bear the anticorruption fee as part of their ground handling expenses. LPL second edition will start on Sunday (5th) with the opening ceremony to be held at 3.00 p.m. followed by the first game between Galle Gladiators and Jaffna Kings at 7.00 p.m.