The two most controversial teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), happen to be in the best of health financially. CSK earned revenues of Rs 166 crore in the financial year 2013-14. This is the highest revenue clocked by a franchise ever, sources said. CSK, which was hived off as a 100% subsidiary of India Cements and incorporated as Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd on December 19, has not filed its profit and loss account with the registrar of companies (RoC) yet.
Sources, however, said that because the franchise is the most successful in the IPL — it has won the title twice and were runners up thrice besides also lifting the Champions League T20 trophy on a couple of occasions — it has amassed a substantial amount of prize money. In addition, it has been relatively conservative on spending on players, and hence, is likely to be the most profitable team as well.
Data collated from the RoC and sources in the industry, however, suggest that outside of CSK, RR — owned by Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd, in which Raj Kundra indicted for betting is a shareholder—is the most profitable team. In the year 2013 (it follows calendar year), RR generated Rs 14.5 crore in profits.
At Rs 121 crore, however, RR’s revenue were less than the GMR-owned Delhi Daredevils’. DD clocked in revenues of Rs 159 crore but its profits, at Rs 7 crore, were half of RR’s.
RR, incidentally, is the only team to have turned profitable from IPL 1, which it won. RR hasn’t come close to replicating it’s debut year feat — though it did finish runner-up in the CLT20 in 2013. The primary reason for RR’s consistent profitable journey, industry players said, is that it was the cheapest team, bought for $67 million, and hence has had the lowest outgo towards annual payments made to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The most expensive team was the Mumbai Indians, which was bought for $111.9.
After RR, the second most profitable franchisee in 2013-14 was Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), which earned a profit of Rs 9 crore over revenues of Rs 129 crore. The same year, Kings XI Punjab (KKXIP) recorded a loss of Rs 4 crore on the revenues of Rs 103 crore. Without declaring its revenues, the Mumbai Indians said it recorded a loss of Rs 5 crore in the year in question while the Sun Risers, which came into picture only in 2013 after Deccan Chargers ceased to exist, declared operating losses at around Rs 39 crore
In the past three seasons, the period for which profit and loss account for most franchises is available with the RoC, RR emerges as the most profitable team with earnings of more than Rs 32 crore. KKR is the second most profitable team with close to Rs 26 crore in profits followed by DD that broke the loss making streak last year with profits of Rs 7 crore after registering losses of Rs 5 crore and Rs 1.5 crore in the previous two seasons. Mumbai Indians and KXIP, however, have been consistently recording losses. The two teams have accumulated losses of Rs 14.2 crore and Rs 5 crore, respectively. Royal Challengers Bangalore is the other team in red having built up losses to the tune of Rs 20 crore, approximately.