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T20 cricket league LLC to raise $10mn


T20 cricket league LLC to raise $10mn


NEW DELHI : Legends League Cricket (LLC), a global T20 cricket league with recently retired international cricketers, is looking to raise $10 million to develop the league further, Raman Raheja, a director of Absolute Legends Sports Pvt Ltd and chief executive of LLC, told Mint.

Some of the big names in the league are Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, and Chris Gayle.

The league, which has two formats and runs at two different times of the year, has raised a total of $7 million since its inception in 2022, when the first season of the league was played.

Some proceeds of the fund raise will go towards marketing, while some will be spent on restoring stadiums in locations like Ranchi, Dehradun, Jammu, Vizag and Surat. “Some of the grounds we are playing on, especially Jammu and Dehradun for instance, required a lot of work in terms of restoration and to bring it up to international standards. We are working with local authorities to improve the grounds,” he said.

The two formats it plays in are regional and franchise. The international ‘regional’ format is called ‘LLC Masters’, played in Qatar.

‘Legends’, the franchise-based model takes place in India, with six privately owned teams—India Capitals, Gujarat Giants, Bhilwara Kings, Manipal Tigers, Urbanrisers Hyderabad and Southern Super Stars. The owners of the two new teams, Hyderabad and Stars, which were added in October, paid $15 million each to acquire the franchises for nine years.

“The business model for us is largely in our franchise model league, Legends. The other league, Masters, is more focused on popularizing the game and reminding fans that some of these cricketers are still playing and so is more of a marketing initiative for us. Across the two formats, we have tried to replicate active cricket which is either played for the country, or for clubs. Masters is like playing for the country and the franchise model replicates playing for clubs,” said Raheja. About $7 million was spent on the first season of its Masters tournament.

The company was originally supposed to do two Masters seasons before getting into its franchise model but saw enough success in the first season to be able to fast forward its plans for the franchise business.

Raheja said the leagues are targeting fans who are aged between 24-45 who are ardent cricket viewers already. But since a lot of the cricketers participating in the league have retired already and taken up assignments as coaches and commentators, it is important to remind viewers that many of them are actively playing cricket too.

“In terms of viewership and reach it was fantastic. Star Sports created muscle power and put it behind us. In terms of revenue, we see that it was better than the first season but these are early days,” he said.

In an earlier story, Mint reported that LLC was the only cricket league that has been seriously watched by cricket fans outside of the IPL in India. viewership data sourced from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) subscribers said the opening match of the last Legends League Cricket (LLC) recorded a TV rating or TVR of 0.51 (the percentage of the audience which saw the entire match). In comparison, Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League and SAT20 opening matches recorded a TVR of 0.05 each. The Caribbean Premier League was at 0.01, while the Lanka Premier League could get 0.04 TVR for the opening match. The current TV universe size is 800 million across 210 million addressable TV homes.

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Updated: 17 Nov 2023, 12:23 AM IST


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