Hindustan Times group to bid for IPL team

IPL is India’s largest sporting event in terms of revenue | img: BCCI

Hindustan Media Ventures, the HT Media subsidiary that runs Hindustan — one of India’s largest newspapers — said it has decided to bid for an IPL team in the ongoing auctions.

With this, Hindustan Media Ventures joins a longish list of companies interested in owning the two new franchises.

Companies who win the auction will be able to choose a city of their choice from a list of approved locations that include Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Indore, Guwahati, Pune, Dharamshala and Cuttack.

The minimum bid for a franchise is Rs 2,000 cr. However, bids are expected to be well north of Rs 3,500 cr, as the broadcasting revenue from the IPL — which is to be shared equally among the 10 franchisees — is worth around Rs 35,000 cr.

It is widely expected that a Gujarat-based company is likely to win one of the bids and choose to create a team for Ahmedabad.

Among the Gujarat-based companies in the fray are the Adani group and Torrent Pharma.

Meanwhile, RP Goenka or RPG Group, one of the biggest and oldest industrial conglomerates in the country, is also in the fray.

HMVL seems to be eyeing potential synergies between the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and its media business, which comprises FM stations, a Hindi newspaper and an English newspaper.

“The Board of Directors feels that it will be good diversification for the Company & will help optimize the media assets of the Company,” HMVL said.

HT group has been keen to derisk its business by diversifying away from print media.

The group currently gets most of its revenue from its two newspapers, and has made several acquisitions in the past in digital media and other fields in pursuit of its aim of derisking its top line through diversification.