Dr. Venkatesh Movva and the EFLI have reached an agreement for Movva Sports Pvt. Ltd. to purchase the Hyderabad SkyKings, which will play its inaugural season starting this December.
All of the SkyKings games will be televised live on Ten Sports network in India and 13 neighboring countries that comprise a potential audience reach of 170 million homes.
"Ven has been an early investor in the league and a significant contributor, said Richard Whelan, CEO, the Elite Football League of India. "He also travelled to India and developed the player health and safety protocol for the league. As a native of India living in the United States, Ven understands the growth in professional football media rights and franchise values achieved by the NFL and how this might translate in India through the EFLI."
"We had internal debates about whether or not we should sell Ven a team, said Sunday Zeller, President, the Elite Football League of India. "On the one hand, no teams are currently for sale, the league owns them all and plans to conduct an auction in the future. On the other hand, Ven could not care more about the players, his country, and Hyderabad his hometown. His values are aligned with those of the EFLI. Moreover, Ven is a very passionate and powerful businessman who has been with us from the beginning and he perfectly typifies what we are looking for in team ownership, therefore he could not be denied. We are proud to have him onboard. Thank you Ven."
Dr. Venkatesh Movva, Director of Movva Sports, commented, "Our mission in owning the team is not only to provide a fast paced, action packed entertainment sport to the city, but also to provide opportunities for local youth to excel in the sport and enjoy the benefits of being a professional athlete." - The EFLI has been received with great excitement and enthusiasm in South Asia. Our athletes performed at a very high level during the first season exceeding all expectations. Teams from India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan provided great storylines, competition and rivalries. Televised games on Ten Sports provided a great platform to showcase talent and the league in multiple countries. The EFLI believes there is not a comparable sport in terms of power, speed and pure entertainment.
Hyderabad is a great sports city and the fan following is growing at a rapid pace. The EFLI is confident in its exhibition of fantastic product on field to bring pride to the city. Hyderabad has responded favorably showing tremendous support for its SkyKings team during an exhibition game last year. Various initiatives such as the implementation of grass root programs, flag football leagues and fan participation events are underway to create spectator interest and grow the sport of American football in the region.
"The EFLI provides a business structure designed for franchises to thrive, said Dr. Venkatesh Movva. "We believe in the financial potential of this league and also anticipate significant demand from individuals/corporations to own other city franchises."