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IPL Portal Rights Deal Negotiated Down From $49 Million To $20.75 Million


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gcv-payout-scheduleThe $49 Million deal between the BCCI, IPL and Live Current Media has been replaced with a new $20.75 million deal with Global Cricket Ventures, via a Novation Agreement. Live Current Media has been released from the Original Agreement, and all outstanding obligations, including the Minimum Annual Fees originally due on October 1, 2008 and January 1, 2009.

Global Cricket Ventures, in which Live Current Media owns a 50.5% stake, will take on payments owed to the BCCI – the first of which will be a $625,000 payment to the BCCI and $350,000 to the IPL, due on July 1, 2009. However, it is the significant reduction of $28.25 million in the value of the deal that is remarkable. Do take a look at the previous schedule of payments here. The breakup of the payouts to the BCCI and the IPL in the new deal has not been disclosed.

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What Are The Official Portal Rights Worth – $49 Million, $20.75 Million Or …?

When LCM had first picked up the official portal rights for $49 million, they appeared to be taking a huge risk. Thankfully for them, the BCCI and IPL have been remarkably understanding in first waiving the initial payouts, giving LCM rights to the T20 Champions League at no cost, and now reducing the payouts. But we still wonder if just the rights are really worth $20.95 million. All that appears to be on offer is promotion of the official site on TV and on the ground, exclusive photograph rights, and access. Dubai based NetLinkBlue would have paid separately for streaming and mobile rights, that have also been incorporated into Global Cricket Ventures, and we do think that streaming and mobile rights are more valuable than portal rights. 

So what’s your take on the value of the portal rights?

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Readers will remember that Live Current Media has faced signficant funding issues, and was unable to monetize IPL Portal rights during the 2008 fiscal. In that context, it’s interesting to note that the new agreement incorporates the right to terminate the original agreement in case of a material breach of contract, or insolvency.

Fantasy League Rights; Who Owns Cricket.com?

Live Current Media’s plan was to get the official portal rights to the IPL, and simultaneously develop Cricket.com as a Cricket destination site. Cricket.com now hosts a Cricket fantasy game, and according to the GCVs agreement with Live Current Media, “GCV shall have the exclusive right and license to operate official on-line fantasy leagues of IPL and any and all official Flash-based online multi-player IPL games, excluding for the avoidance of doubt any SMS exploitation“.  So who owns Cricket.com now? According to the agreements, it appears that GCV has the rights to run the fantasy league game. In our opinion, LCM should have developed Cricket.com as a separate Cricket portal, with the game being a part of the site, and content being shared with IPLT20.com. LCM had bought the cricket fantasy game for $25,000, with an additional performance dependent payout of  $10,000. 

Documents:

BCCI-Live Current Media MOU (Dated April 16, 2008)
BCCI-IPL-Live Current Media MOU (Dated April 16, 2008)
Novation Agreement
Mutual Termination Agreement

 

Related:

— LCM & NetLinkBlue Yet To Assign IPL Digital Rights To Global Cricket Ventures; BCCI & IPL Payout Details
— In Dire Straits, Live Current Media Raises $2 Million; No MG for CLT20
— Live Current Media Negotiates Reduction In BCCI Payouts By $1.25 Million For This Year And Next

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