RPT-Cricket-BCCI awards Hyderabad franchise to media corporation

Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:16am EDT

(Refiles to add RIC and product code)

NEW DELHI Oct 25 (Reuters) - A Chennai-based media corporation has bagged the Hyderabad franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament for an annual fee of $15.81 million, the Indian cricket board said on Thursday.

The Sun TV Network made a bid significantly higher than the second highest offer of $12.83 million, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a statement after an IPL governing council meeting in Mumbai.

"This franchise fee represents a premium of over a 100 percent above the amount paid by DCHL (Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd) for the Hyderabad franchise in 2008," he added.

Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara captained Deccan Chargers in the 2012 edition of the IPL but he and his players faced an uncertain future after the franchise was thrown out of IPL last month for non-payment of fees and other issues.

DCHL, who paid $107 million for the franchise, made a legal challenge to the expulsion merely to delay their exit.

The new owners, engaged in producing and broadcasting satellite television and radio software programming in the regional languages of south India, are yet to announce the new name for the franchise.

Purists allege BCCI has milked the IPL to the detriment of test cricket and the Twenty20 league has also lost much of its sheen since its glitzy 2008 inception.

Last year, the BCCI terminated the Kochi franchise's contract for defaulting on payments while DLF, India's largest real estate firm, ended title sponsorship of the league in August after a five-year association.

($1 = 53.80 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by John O'Brien)

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