Liquor and airline baron Vijay Mallya, auto major Hero Honda and leading telecom company Reliance Communications have started negotiations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to buy the rights of teams that will play in the Twenty20 tourney, which was announced to counter Subhash Chandra's Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The BCCI had announced the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is modelled on the popular soccer tournament, English Premier League.
The IPL will include domestic and foreign teams that will play tournaments, including in the Twenty20 format. Under the Twenty20 format, the company is not a sponsor but the owner of the team.
Apart from the ownership amount, a company will have to deal separately with each cricketer it wants in its team. The amount the company will pay for a player depends on the company's bargaining power.
Spokespersons of Reliance Communications and Hero Honda declined to comment. The sources said Mallya has initiated talks with the BCCI.
The BCCI has asked corporates to pay between $50 million and $60 million (Rs 200 crore to Rs 240 crore) to own an IPL team (for lifetime). In turn, the BCCI will offer companies a revenue share from stadium advertising and gate money.
The teams can also be listed on the stock exchanges and buyers have the right to resell the team at a premium. However, the team owner will not have any share in the revenue the BCCI earns through selling television rights.
The sources close to the development said these companies have shown interest and negotiations are on with the BCCI. BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi declined to comment.
Vijay Mallya had recently bought a 50 per cent stake in the Dutch Formula One team Spyker for $120 million through a consortium, Orange India Holdings, which he formed with Michiel Mol, director of Formula 1 at Spyker.