The Sun TV network has won the Hyderabad franchise of the IPL, bidding Rs 85.05 crores per year (around $15.9m) for a five-year deal. The decision was announced after a meeting of the IPL's governing council in Mumbai on Thursday, and a week after Deccan Chargers, the original Hyderabad franchise, was terminated after failing to meet the deadline for raising its bank guarantee.
The other bidder for the franchise was PVP Ventures, who offered Rs 69.03 crores per year (around $12.9m). This was the second time PVP tried to buy the franchise, having failed last month as well with a bid of Rs 900 crores ($164m) for ten years.
In all, four firms had bought the tender document. Besides Sun TV Network and PVP Ventures, Jaypee Group and Videocon had bought the document but didn't submit the bid.
The IPL Governing Council has also taken a decision on future of the cricketers on the Chargers' roster which included high-profile names like Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and South Africa's Dale Steyn. ESPNcricinfo has learnt that the BCCI has offered Sun TV time till the end of the month to sign contracts with those Chargers' players they would like to retain. The players who do not reach an agreement with the franchise will become free agents, going into the pool for next year's auction along with other capped players.
Sun TV Networks Limited, which is headquartered in Chennai, 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 winning bid from Sun TV (about $79.5m for five years) is higher than the $107m for ten years the previous owners of the Hyderabad franchise, Deccan Chargers Holdings Limited (DCHL), paid back in 2008, when the league was being established. "This Franchise fee represents a premium of over a 100 % above the amount paid by DCHL for the Hyderabad Franchise in 2008," the BCCI said in a release announcing the sale of the new franchise.
Sun TV's bid price, which totals $80m or Rs 425.2 crores for five years is however, considerably less than what emerged during the last round of bidding for new franchises two years ago. In 2010, the Sahara group offered to buy the Pune franchise at $370m for ten years. In dollar terms, Sahara's deal over five years adds up to $185m.
In an attempt to draw more bidders, the base price for the franchise had been lowered to about $56m (about Rs 300 crore) for five years, compared to the base price of $225m for ten years in 2010, when the Pune and Kochi franchises were bought.
Chargers were initially terminated from the IPL last month after the BCCI claimed claiming defaults of payments to players, foreign boards and its possible "deleterious" effects on the league. A legal battle followed, with the BCCI winning last week, and then inviting bids for a new franchise. The board had previously agreed to help DHCL sell off the franchise, but had attracted only one bid which was rejected.