CLT20 news August 7, 2012

CLT20 signs new sponsorship deal

Karbonn Mobiles has become the third telecom company to sponsor the Champions League Twenty20 in four years, having signed a deal today with ESPNSTAR Sports (ESS), the event's commercial and broadcast partner. Karbonn replaces Nokia, who withdrew their sponsorship after just one year.

Nokia had replaced Bharti Airtel, the tournaments inaugural sponsors, in 2011. Airtel had signed a five-year deal worth $40 million reportedly to sponsor the event in 2009, but withdrew its sponsorship two years into the deal. ESS paid nearly $1 billion in 2008 for the 10-year-broadcasting rights for the tournament.

The deal gives Karbonn the "rights to on ground title sponsorship with all its entitlements," and the tournament has been rechristened the Karbonn Champions League Twenty20, according to a statement from ESS. Pradeep Jain, the managing director of Karbonn, said the tournament should help the company break through the clutter of advertisers and products and create the "right visibility amongst our target audience".

The revolving door of title sponsors highlights the troubled start the CLT20 has had, in contrast to the IPL. The event's scheduled first season in 2008 was cancelled because of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November that year. When the tournament did make its belated debut as a 12-team event in 2009, it was hurt by a more nagging problem - fans in India, cricket's largest market, showed little interest in non-IPL teams. That year the CLT20 drew an average television ratings point (TRP) of 1.06 (one TRP represents 1% of viewers in the surveyed area in a given minute), compared to an average TRP of 4.1 for the 2009 IPL, according to TAM Sports, a division of TAM Media Research, a television ratings agency.

In an effort to boost viewership, the number of IPL teams in the tournament has been increased from two to four over the years. In the first year, only the two IPL finalists qualified for the world's richest club cricket tournament. This year, all four teams that made the IPL playoffs were given direct entry to the main draw. The CLT20 also added a qualifying tournament last season. While viewership has increased with the changes, the average TRPs are still below 2. In comparison, the IPL has delivered ratings of at least 3.45 in each of its five seasons.

The fourth edition of the CLT20 will be played across four venues in South Africa: Centurion, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Eight teams have already qualified for the main tournament, while a further six teams will complete in the qualifying stage from October 9 to October 11. The top two teams from the qualifiers - one from each group of three - will then join the other eight in the main tournament, which begins on October 13.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on August 8, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Bharti Airtel backing out of sponsorship can be partly be due to the financial struggles they were in last year. And Nokia is struggling to stay afloat as a company with its falling revenue. It has become a norm to criticize whatever is floated by BCCI. I for one, for all its flaws believe that CLT20 is a novel thought as far as cricket is concerned. I would rather wait and see its survival or not rather than judge prematurely as many do.

  • Srinivas on August 8, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Is the TRP 1.0 an average of the viewership of all the countries where CLT20 is broadcast or just India??

  • Love on August 8, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    Anybody knows that what is the main reason that they are loosing these contracts after every year or 2 beacuse the TRPs getting low and low every year why that have anybody thinked about that beacuse they are introducing more ipl teams and other countries teams who participate in this reducing and for this every person who support any ipl team will watch this but they make more money they need to increase no of teams in it atleast get 1 team from all test playing contires in CL. If they get more teams from different countires then more people in other countires will also watch they should have atleast 12 teams in four gourps or16 teams in four groups in which no more teams from ipl and other teams should be from pther countries not from IPL, BIG BASH or SouthSfrican t20 league.....

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    @natesan333 she is a former miss world as well...

  • Nishil on August 8, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    @Natesan333 She is Priyanka Chopra a well known Indian film actress.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    she is priyanka chopra, bollywood luking for the event....

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Priyanka Chopra, Indian Actress. She was elected as the best personality person of Asia few year ago...

  • Madurai on August 7, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    Wow who is that hottie holding that check?.......the girl is good looking too......just kidding, just kidding. But seriously who is the chick?

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