Pakistan find no takers for overseas rights of bilateral cricket

MUMBAI: For the first time in recent memory, a cricket board has been left with no option but to share its global (overseas) broadcast of bilateral and domestic cricket – outside of home territory – free on air via Youtube.
The nerve-wracking contest between Pakistan and Zimbabwe at Rawalpindi – third of the three one-day internationals – ended up in a tie with Zimbabwe being declared winners via the one-over eliminator.
Batting first, Zimbabwe scored 278-6 in 50 overs, led by a responsible unbeaten century from 34-year-old Sean Williams, while Pakistan trotted towards the target riding on a run-a-ball 125 from the talented Babar Azam to equal the score before the eliminator came into play.
A match of such unpredictability and verve, purely from a commercial perspective outside of Pakistan, had no takers thus leaving the global cricket community perplexed over what lies in store for cricket broadcast outside of the Indian territory in near future.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), one that was fairly confident of selling its broadcast rights handsomely in a market they were convinced was warming up, has eventually found itself left in the cold. After speaking with multiple parties, the PCB was left with no choice but to broadcast the Pakistan-Zimbabwe series free on air via Youtube while the home rights for bilateral matches, along with rights for the country’s domestic cricket, has been given to national broadcaster PTV for a mutually disclosed sum.
“PTV in Pakistan is like Doordarshan in India. Doesn’t really matter what price you give it to them for. The worrying factor is that a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) hasn’t found a broadcaster to telecast international cricket outside of their country, even at base price or minimum guarantee and that’s not healthy for the game in that territory,” sources tracking developments said.
In stark contrast to the reality that the Pak board has been left facing, its chairman Ehsan Mani had been quoted as saying “we expect to generate (around) $25m from international rights during the next three years” – an estimate that’s not quite worked to his expectations.
PCB’s turmoil doesn’t end here. In 48 hours from now, the cricket board will get to know whether it gets a broadcaster in place to telecast the final leg of the Pakistan Super League (PSL – knockouts), one that was left mid-way after the pandemic set in early this year and led to a massive global lockdown.
“A couple of parties have shown interest. Let’s see,” add those in the know, while Mani has been quoted as saying that ‘six companies have submitted bids that would be opened within the next few days'”.
Meanwhile, the PCB alone isn’t facing the wrath of a badly hit market in the wake of the pandemic. The Lanka Premier League (LPL), one that was scheduled to commence on November 21, has already run into trouble due to certain fallouts in existing commercial relations between the league’s partners.
While those backing the league say, “the LPL could be shifted to Dubai or Malaysia”, the industry in general says “such a scenario appears very bleak and very unlikely”.
Dubai-based Innovative Production Group (IPG) was awarded the marketing and organisation rights to LPL in August this year with the tournament first slated to be held in September. However, with the pandemic unrelenting, the tournament had to be postponed.
Meanwhile, thanks to the industry expecting India to tour Sri Lanka next year, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) rights have been bought by Sony Pictures for an amount slightly in excess of US$22m, industry sources say. It is to be waited and seen if the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), looking to sell its rights in December this year, will find similar takers.

Source link

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *