Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament offered viewers a nail-biting finish, with the Rajasthan Royals scraping their way to victory against the Chennai Super Kings at the very last minute. Emerging Media, the franchise owner of the Rajasthan Royals, is now savouring the sweet taste of victory.
It comes as a surprise that a young, two year old organisation was able to prove its worth in a tournament that was all about huge money purses and loads of glamour.
Interestingly, Lachlan Keith Murdoch, the elder son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is a minority investor in Emerging Media. Murdoch has made investments in Emerging Media through his company Illyria Pty Ltd (Australia). In 2007, Murdoch had also partnered with Percept Holdings to launched a 50:50 joint venture company called Percept Talent Management (PTM).
Why is the organisation called Emerging Media when its business has nothing to do with media, but is similar to that of any other sports management or talent management company?
Iyer sets the record straight: "We truly believe that we are a media company. This is so because, as a media conglomerate, we have quite a few verticals under our name which relate directly to media and related fields. We have stakes in television software, digital media and sports management. We have also set our sights on establishing some intellectual media properties, one of them being Cricket Star, in India."
Iyer reveals that a unique project involving Liverpool FC and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is in the offing. The aim is to popularise and promote soccer. With the IPL as a success model, this venture too should set the cash register ringing, he says.
Though Emerging Media has tasted success with a sports based media property, it is in no mood to restrict itself to sports. Iyer says the organisation wishes to make it big as a content provider to the 350 or so channels currently operating in India. In Iyer's words, "Emerging Media wants to be another Endemol, when it comes to providing quality content for Indian productions."
What is Emerging Media's source of revenue? Iyer explains, "Our source of funding is through private equity. An important thing is to understand the process that we follow in conducting our operations. Once we have an idea or format in place for any sort of media property, we look out for sponsors. They are the people putting their money into our projects. Apart from that, we also work closely with broadcasters to zero in on a suitable platform to telecast the show and negotiate sales deals with them. Once the sponsors and broadcaster is in place, we source out tasks such as events and ground activities to other players."
Iyer reveals that Emerging Media has a small team of 10-12 people in India. On the management team are Manoj Badale, executive chairman, and Ranjit Barthakur, non-executive chairman. Fraser Castellino, chief executive officer, divides his time between India and the UK.