As part of showcasing Kerala's famed snake-boat race in the backwaters in six districts across the state, the Kerala government has decided to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to conduct the IPL-model Champions Boat League (CBL) as an annual event in August-November, state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Wednesday.
Surendran, along with various stake-holders, met Finance Minister Thomas Isaac to finalise the setting up of the SPV.
The inaugural edition of the Champions' Boat League (CBL) will get under way with the Nehru Trophy Boat Race on August 10 at Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha.
The competitions in the CBL will start a week later at Pulinkunnu (August 17). In subsequent Saturdays, races will be conducted at Thazhathangadi (August 24), Piravam (August 31), Marine Drive (September 7), Kottappuram (September 14), Ponnani (September 21), Kainakari (September 28), Karuvatta (October 5), Kayamkulam (October 12) and Kallada (October 19), before concluding in a grand finale at the President's Trophy Boat Race at Kollam on November 1.
At the meeting attended by representatives of boat owners, boat clubs and rowers' associations, Surendran said that the SPV company is primarily intended to generate revenue through telecast rights, advertisements and sponsorships for conducting the premier event, besides deciding on revenue-sharing among the stakeholders.
"This event is going to open a glorious chapter in the long history of boat races in Kerala as it will not only showcase this unique tradition to the whole world but also bring benefit to the entire spectrum of stakeholders," he said.
The CBL winner will get a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, while those finishing second and third will get Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, respectively.
The Minister also said the CBL has been conceived and planned as a world class tourism product which will firm up Kerala on the international map, luring visitors during the monsoon season.
Isaac said the event has been structured in a commercial-friendly manner so as to bring advantage to the stakeholders who have kept up the tradition over a long period.
"I am sure that in coming years, the CBL will grab a prime spot in international sporting calendar and TV channels will vie for telecasting it live," he said.