YouTube-Global Cricket Ventures IPL deal under BCCI scanner

IPL Cricket

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will examine the terms under which a contract was signed with YouTube for live streaming of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches as part of its ongoing investigations into the decisions taken when Lalit Modi was the IPL commissioner.

“Since the disciplinary committee will look into the internet rights deal with the Global Cricket Ventures (GCV), it’s obvious that all deals that GCV has done for the league will also be investigated,” people close to the development at BCCI said.

GCV, the owner of IPL’s internet rights, had signed the deal with the Google-owned YouTube early this year. Mr Modi’s step son-in-law Gaurav Burman is the managing partner of the UK-listed Elephant Capital, which owns 50% in GCV.

The Google-IPL deal was the first of its kind in the sporting arena worldwide. The YouTube IPL channel, which streamed the Twenty-20 matches live, had over 54 million channel views and over 90,000 channel subscribers, making it the most-subscribed and most-viewed sports channel globally. The channel’s viewership spanned nearly 200 countries with the maximum numbers coming from India, followed by the US, the Google data shows.

“We have not been contacted by BCCI with regards to our deal with GCV for the live streaming of IPL on YouTube. We continue to monitor the proceedings of the investigations and will not like to comment on speculation,” a Google India spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that Google had signed a two-year deal with GCV and that they did not deal directly with the IPL governing council. BCCI officials added that GCV had agreed to pay IPL `25 crore per year for the Google deal.

In April 2008, the BCCI, represented by Lalit Modi, signed an MoU with Live Current Media of Canada (LCM) to build, operate and promote the official website of BCCI and IPL. However, LCM wanted to bring a third partner, GCV, into the picture and a second agreement, called a novation agreement, was signed between all the three – BCCI, LCM and GCV, Singapore – in March 2009.

The rights to operate the IPL website was assigned to GCV on the condition that it pay BCCI $750,000 by July 2009 due under the first MoU between the BCCI and LCM. In July 2009, GCV informed BCCI the rights have been assigned to GCV, Mauritius, where Elephant Capital owns 50%. BCCI, in its notice to Lalit Modi, has sought an explanation on why the board was not informed about Gaurav Burman’s direct interest in the Mauritius company.

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