A massive cricket broadcast deal, which was expected to fetch in over USD 200 million for the Pakistan Cricket Board, has reportedly fallen apart.
After the cancellation of the deal, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has now reportedly issued a new tender inviting bids for new media rights for its home internationals matches for the upcoming series against West Indies and Australia.
Earlier in 2020, the PCB had signed a three-year broadcast deal with the state broadcaster PTV along with an agreement with the Cable Association of Pakistan (CAP). THe deal with CAP had ensured that the PCB’s broadcast content is not redistributed without proper authorisation.
The official signing of the deal between PCB and PTV was held at Pakistan Prime Minister’s House in the presence of Imran Khan, who is also the PCB’s patron-in-chief.
After the agreement, the PTV got the rights to broadcast all Pakistan’s home bilateral matches besides the domestic cricket, ending PCB’s ties with long-time partner Ten Sports, which had broadcasted Pakistan’s home cricket since the 2000s.
Under the arrangement, along with the Pakistan International Home Series of the Senior Cricket Team, the Women’s and Junior cricket teams was set to be broadcast live on PTV Sports.
Also for the first time all the major Domestic tournaments, including the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the National T-20 Cup, the One Day Pakistan Cup and the National U-19 One-Day and National U-19 Three Day tournaments, was announced to be broadcast live on PTV Sports and distributed across Pakistan on cable networks.
The supporting cable distribution agreement, unlike in the past, was to ensure that the broadcast content of PCB cricket is not redistributed without proper authorization which was one of the reasons for greatly diminishing the value of PCB content.
As part of the agreement, the matches was not meant to be produced by PCB directly to the highest international standards and was not be bulked as part of the broadcasting deal as was done in the past. PCB will ensure the broadcast and distribution of Pakistan cricket across the globe.
It was for the first time in almost three decades when in 2020 the broadcasting rights of Pakistan Cricket in Pakistan were granted exclusively to a Pakistani broadcaster and that too the national broadcaster.
The aim was to maximize the opportunity for cricket fans in Pakistan to watch good competitive cricket almost throughout the year and follow the top cricketers and teams they support in the domestic season.
The broadcast deal had also marked the launch of rebuilding PTV’s production and broadcast capabilities, with a conversion of PTV Sports to HD broadcast format already in the pipeline to be followed by the acquisition of not only international quality production equipment but also training of its staff during the production by PCB of cricket matches in Pakistan.
It was also aimed to create the impetus to expedite the conversion of analogue cable to digital cable in Pakistan to ensure all cricket fans receive the highest quality and maximum quantity of cricket content on their television screens.