BCCI finds no Sahara for India
With no takers for the sponsorship of the Indian cricket team, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is now looking at alternatives — either to go for re-tendering with a lower base price or renegotiate a contract with the Sahara group, which currently holds sponsorship till December.
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While the Sahara group declined comment, BCCI sources said one alternative would be to renegotiate with them for another four years at virtually the same price or slightly lower. As a negotiating stance, the agreement with Sahara could be extended for three months at the current rate.
“The best bet will be to renegotiate with Sahara at the current price or maybe slightly lower, or re-tender at a lower base price. We have not taken a final decision on this,” said a BCCI source.
Sahara had forked out over Rs 425 crore in the four years (they had won the bid for Rs 313 crore), as the number of matches increased in comparison to the original plan. Sources dealing with Sahara said they might not agree now, as they find “the price already too high”.
The other alternative is to go for re-tendering at a base price lower than the Rs 510 crore fixed currently. When asked what the BCCI intended to do, Lalit Modi said: “I will not talk to you on this issue.”
Today was the last date to submit bids for the sponsorship of the Men in Blue, but with no takers for the Rs 5-lakh forms till November 23, the board had no choice but to postpone the tendering. Advertisers were expected to show a bank guarantee of Rs 48 crore as well, during tender submission.
Media planners said their clients were willing to pick up the contract but at cheaper rates — Rs 1.5-2 crore per match. “Clients would be interested to pay between Rs 255 crore and Rs 340 crore for the matches. But at Rs 3 crore per match, it is too expensive,” said a senior executive of a leading media buying agency.