Sri Lanka Cricket will be compelled to compromise on the value of its media and sponsorship rights. In wake of a poor response, the SLC is finding it hard to get the deals worthy enough to match the desired values.
Late entrant Sony Pictures Network India remains interest for the media rights. While the SLC is engaged in negotiations with SPNI, while Sri Lanka’s leading telecom operator Dialog will be roped in as sponsors.
There had been only two interests for the sponsorship sales. An Indian entity too had made the bid alongside Dialog. But SLC had decided to go with Dialog as the Indian agency, according to a source, did not bring any commitment to the table. “We also had credibility issue with the Indian company. Its projections and promises appeared very shallow in our internal evaluation,” the source has stated.
Meanwhile, SLC secretary Mohan de Silva has also confirmed that the board would negotiate the terms of sponsorship with Dialog.
“Two parties showed interest and made bids for the team sponsorship. Dialog is one of them and the other is an Indian party,” website Island cricket has quoted de Silva as saying. “We’ll be actually negotiating with Dialog as we had no issues with them and they are a local partner.
A deal with Dialog will also mean that the SLC will have to compromise on the value. “However, they have given a considerably low figure compared to the previous years. Maybe because of the COVID-19 situation and volatile market conditions and other expenses I don’t think we will get the figures they offered us the last time. But if we can raise it by a reasonable percentage we will be happy,” de Silva said and added that the current team sponsorship had already expired and the new one would commence from this year. “If everything goes well we will be signing the contract within a couple of weeks.”
Meanwhile, SLC will renegotiate the three-year media rights deal offered by the lone bidder SPNI for an upward revision of the value.
The cricket board though has compromised with the fact that it won’t be possible to get the kind of values it was expecting.
Sony, according to The Sunday Times, has offered approximately $ 22.5 million for the three-year cycle. The rights period which were to start from August 1 has listed 25 Tests, 60 ODIs and 38 T20 internationals during the new FTP term. The schedule includes two limited over tours by India, which amount for the best value.
The SLC was reportedly expecting a minimum of $30 million since the FTP besides the two series with India also has as many tours by England and Australia.
Sony, which had got the SLC rights by virtue of the TenSports acquisition, had earlier pulled out of the race to retain the deal. Sony had held the rights for seven years between 2-13 and 2020 for a deal worth $ 34.87 mn. There was a separate $ 25.5 mn deal for India’s 2017 tour of Sri Lanka. Ten Sports also held the production deal worth $ 14-15 mn.
Another Indian channel 1Sports had earlier offered $ 15 mn to the SLC as the sole bidder, but the board had declined the offer and offered fresh tender.