ICL: Indian Cricket League

GCC to again bid for ICC cricket rights


Rupert Murdoch-owned Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), which paid $550 million to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for major tournament rights till 2007, has incurred losses, one of its top officials has said. But GCC managing director Ian Frykberg said that the company would bid again in the next round.

In 2000, GCC bought the rights, including for the World Cups, Champions Trophies and under-19 World Cups until the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, but it suffered an undisclosed loss, said Frykberg.

‘We have been very happy with the game’s profile, particularly in India. There certainly haven’t been any major profits from the contract (with ICC). In fact, there has been a loss,’ disclosed Frykberg in an interview with IANS.

However, GCC will attempt to secure the rights again when the ICC starts the bidding process soon.

‘The (GCC) contract ends with the 2007 World Cup. We will be taking a very strong interest in the events going forward. We will be looking very strongly at an extension,’ said Frykberg.

Asked if GCC would like to have a different kind of arrangement from the previous one, Frykberg said it was a mater for the ICC to decide.

‘They are still making a decision on how the events will be and for how long before they put out a tender document and we will tender along with a number of other interested parties, I should think,’ he said.

‘But the fact is that that’s business, and we look forward to a very good tournament in India (Champions Trophy this October-November) and a very good tournament in the West Indies (World Cup). We are very happy with our relationship with the ICC and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket India).’

GCC’s contract with ICC started on a sour note in 2002 when the Indian cricketers, ICC and BCCI fought a bitter battle just ahead of the Champions Trophy was held in Sri Lanka.

Strict sponsorship regulations of ICC-GCC sought that players of all teams did not endorse any products for long periods before, during and after the Champions Trophy, with the Indian players being the worst affected. They refused to sign the tournament contract with the BCCI, and at one stage India’s participation looked doubtful in the most important tournament after the World Cup.

Eventually, the players signed their contracts hours before India’s first match in Colombo and the Champions Trophy went ahead as scheduled. But the issue lingered on, and later the strict endorsement rules were diluted to ensure all players’ participation in the 2003 World Cup and the 2004 Champions Trophy.

Frykberg, however, tried to disassociate GCC from the controversy.

‘That was a matter between the BCCI and their players also the ICC. GCC or any other organisation that had cricket rights are not part of the management of that cricket, quite properly so,’ he said.

Frykberg also did not feel that GCC’s loss was due to the controversy.

‘No, that’s not a reason. In all matters when you buy sports rights, you pay for the rights the price you think they are worth. Sometimes economic factors take over and the turnover is not as good as you might have thought,’ he said.

‘But that’s nothing to do with players. We are very happy and grateful for the inputs of players into these events.’

Would the GCC take a hard look at the endorsement rules for players when it bids for the contracts next time?

‘The situation is that the contracts are between the players and their boards. Clearly, they will be part of the tender process, and all the tenders look at all these factors. But these are the matters that do not come in the domain of the GCC,’ Frykberg said.

There was another controversy after the 2003 World Cup when the GCC claimed that it did not get enough mileage from the premier tournament, and it led to the ICC withholding the guarantee money of participating countries for any likely court battles with GCC.

It seems that a large part of the money - or entire amount - has been paid, but some issues are still left.

‘Look, we are confident that everyone will move ahead very amicably. Issues are largely settled. We pay the money on time to ICC,’ said Frykberg.

Source:Yahoo Sports

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