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Sun TV buys new IPL franchise

 MUMBAI, Oct 25 (PTI): Sun TV Network today won the Hyderabad franchise of the Indian Premier League for an amount of Rs 85.05 crore per year, marking an end to BCCI’s hunt for a new team in the wake of the controversial termination of cash-strapped Deccan Chargers.

The IPL Governing Council met here today to open the bids for the new IPL franchise and Sun TV was found to have the highest bid amount.

“Sun TV Network have won the Hyderabad Franchise for an amount of Rs 85.05 crore per year. This Franchise fee represents a premium of over a 100 per cent above the amount paid by DCHL for the Hyderabad Franchise in 2008,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a release. “The Sun TV Network bid was substantially higher than the second bid of PVP Ventures, which was Rs 69.03 crore,” Jagdale said.

In an effort to attract more bidders, the BCCI had kept the base price at a reasonable Rs 60 crore per year. Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited had bought the Hyderabad franchise for Rs 428 crore for a period of 10 years. Chennai-based Sun TV Networks Limited is one of India’s biggest television networks with 32 TV channels and 45 FM radio stations primarily catering to an audience in the four southern languages of India. Their network includes channels covering news, entertainment, film, documentary and music.

The BCCI had floated the tenders for a new IPL franchise after terminating Deccan Chargers’ contract on September 15 but the team owners DCHL had challenged it at the Bombay High Court.

The High Court had ruled in favour of the BCCI after Deccan Chargers Holdings Limited failed to furnish bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore before October 12, 5pm deadline. Later, an arbitrator had ordered for status quo but the High Court again ruled in favour of the Board.

DCHL then approached the Supreme Court which, however, declined on October 19 to interfere with the High Court decision which had set aside the status quo order passed by the arbitrator.

According to an IPL source, Sun TV has paid Rs 20 crore as signing amount and also the bank guarantee of Rs 85 crore for the first year.

The source said that the Deccan Chargers players, who are now left without a team following the termination of the franchise, will get the first option in the new team owned by Sun TV.

“Sun TV will have to inform the IPL by tomorrow as to which Deccan Charger players they want in the team,” the source said.

Those players not selected will go to the common auction pool.

All the IPL franchises will have to indicate by October 31 which players they wish to retain for the sixth edition of the league.

The source said that Sun TV and PVP Ventures were the only two companies which bid for the new IPL team. Four other companies had collected the forms but did not bid.

The BCCI had begun the process of finding a new IPL team inviting bids in respect of 12 cities – Ahmedabad, Cuttack, Noida Dharamsala, Indore, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Kochi, Nagpur, Rajkot, Ranchi and Vizag – just a day after terminating the Deccan Chargers’ contract on September 15.

The DCHL had challenged the termination of its contract, but the Bombay High Court had on October 1 ordered the company to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore, bear all expenses for IPL 6, including making payments to BCCI towards franchise, players and support staff. Besides, it was asked to bear the costs of conducting matches and other expenses.

Championships in Istanbul on Wednesday.

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