BCCI’s allies, often their foes

Good governance is not an attribute that the BCCI is particularly known for. Not that the board cares much about those who feel an enterprise should follow some basic rules of running a business. BCCI is a monopoly and it goes about its business like one. Accountability or the lack of it, in fact, has been the defining trait of the board, resulting in frequent legal battles with its own so-called partners. For, those at the receiving end of the board's whims have no option but to move court for justice.

It was, therefore, business as usual when the promoters of Deccan Chargers rushed to court after BCCI terminated their IPL contract. Chargers' parent company, Deccan Chronicle Holdings, is undergoing a financial crisis (of its own making, not the focus here) and hasn't paid the salaries of its players. It, indeed, was an issue that needed immediate redressal. But BCCI could have done better than scrapping the contract, especially with a company that put $107 million (close to Rs 535 crore) on the table at a time when IPL's future was most uncertain. And a company that isn't likely to have broken even yet.

Of course, this wasn't the first time the BCCI had junked a mutually agreed upon legal contract. Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Kochi Tuskers were dealt a similar blow by the board in the past. Nimbus Communications, the company that was awarded broadcast rights to BCCI matches from 2006 to 2010 and then for another four years, is currently in the halls of justice, fighting a similar case.

Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd, the company that won broadcast rights to the IPL for 10 years in 2008, had to seek legal recourse after BCCI terminated its contract at the end of the first year itself. And earlier, the board fought legal battles with Zee TV and ESPN-Star Sports on similar issues.

... contd.

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