Sri Lanka Cricket clarifies news reports about LPL Jaffna franchise deal

Sri Lanka Cricket LPL Jaffna

Sri Lanka Cricket has issued a clarification pertaining to news article “LPL Transparency at stake over questionable deals”

MEDIA RELEASE: Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to make following and with a lead of “were proper protocols followed in naming new franchise owner for Jaffna and US$ 10 Mn TV rights deal?”

At the outset, SLC wishes to enlighten the media and the public on the business model of the Lanka Premier League that is being followed by Sri Lanka Cricket for the next 5 years from 2020, with the aim of giving you a clear understanding of the content described herein. The said model has been adopted after taking into consideration the models followed by other leagues, such as the Indian Premiere League and the Big Bash League.

Pursuant to meticulous analysis and varied tender processes carried out by the SLC, and with a view to making the LPL a highly sought after and profitable Premier League Tournament in Sri Lanka, It was decided to award the entire commercial rights of the LPL inclusive of franchise ownership rights (‘Event Rights’) to a third party through an open tender process whilst retaining control and management rights by the SLC.

Accordingly, the Event Rights of the Lanka Premier League was awarded to the Innovative Production Group FZE (IPG), a UAE-based private-owned Sports Management Company (‘Event Rights Holder’), for a period of 5 years commencing from the year 2020.

In terms of the agreement, which SLC entered into with IPG pursuant to the Tender Process, the commercial rights such as International Media Rights, Ground Rights, Terrestrial TV Rights, Terrestrial Digital Rights, Franchisee/Team Ownership Rights etc. have been granted to the said Event rights Holder with the option of sub-licensing to third parties in order to maximize its commercial elements and subject to the terms specified in the agreement.

Being a privately owned company with a view to maximizing its profitability for the investment therein made, the Event rights holder is permitted to exploit the rights granted herein strictly subject to the screening, control and or supervision of ICC and the SLC. It should be noted that in terms of the provisions of the said agreement, the SLC is entitled to receive a share (proportionate percentage) from some of the rights granted to the event Rights Holder when the same is being exploited by the event Rights Holder.

As such, we wish to state that the content of the said article which claims that the dealings in relation to the LPL had not followed the proper protocols is factually wrong and in fact, the rights which claim to have been sold unjustly are the rights owned by IPG pursuant to an open Tender Process carried out by the SLC and therefore, the exploitation and or sub-licensing of which to a third party are the right exclusively held by IPG subject to the terms in the agreement.

Therefore, we categorically deny any statement which claims that SLC had not followed the protocols in granting of the rights herein and SLC shall have no interest to interfere and inquire into whom such rights are being sublicensed by the IPG in so far as such dealings are done in compliance with the terms of the agreement entered into with SLC and are made with the persons/firms and or organizations that had not been excluded by ICC.

At a time when global sports and other activities are threatened by the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, the support from media institutions are considered to be paramount which helps to brand the LPL as the elite event in the World Cricketing calendar.

Thus, SLC sincerely requests all journalists to join hand and work towards enhancing the Sri Lanka Cricket and LPL brand and seek clarification from SLC prior to publishing any information that would unduly and adversely affect the Country, the Sport of Cricket and the brand image of the SLC and the LPL.

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