PCB expects to earn $200m from domestic TV with new rights deal
PTV, the Pakistan state broadcaster, has secured domestic rights to national cricket team matches for the next three years, as part of a revamp of the way the sport is covered in the country.
Under a deal with the Pakistan Cricket Board announced today, live coverage of the men’s, women’s and junior team’s home games, plus domestic fixtures, between now and 2023 will go out on satellite channel PTV Sports
The PCB has also reached a cable distribution agreement with I-Media Communication Services.
The governing body said it expects to generate increased revenue of more than $200 million from its new broadcasting arrangements over the three-year cycle.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, the former cricket great, as the holder of the post acts as the patron of the PCB.
The board’s previous four-year rights deal with pan-Asian sports broadcaster Ten Sports and PTV Sports, which expired earlier in 2020, was worth $149 million.
However, that included two home series with India, which were not played for security reasons, meaning some $90 million was deducted from the value of the contract.
The PCB stated that it will shortly be concluding the separate allocation of broadcast rights in international territories, and a new structure is being devised for digital media rights.
It was pointed out that this is the first time in almost three decades that rights to Pakistani cricket have been granted exclusively to a domestic broadcaster, and in this case the national network.
The PCB said: “The matches will be produced by PCB directly to the highest international standards and will not be bulked as part of the broadcasting deal as was done in the past. PCB will ensure broadcast and distribution of Pakistan cricket across the globe.”
It added: “The broadcast deal also marks 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 acquisition of not only international quality production equipment but also training of its staff during the production by PCB of cricket matches in Pakistan.”
The agreement comes amid efforts to transition from analogue cable to digital cable in Pakistan, which, it is hoped, will maximise the quality and content of televised cricket in the country.
In addition to Pakistan home test, one-day international and Twenty20 matches, there will be extensive live coverage of domestic tournaments, including the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the first-class competition, the National T20 Cup, the One Day Pakistan Cup and the National U-19 One-Day and National U-19 Three Day tournaments, on PTV Sports, and distributed across Pakistan on cable networks.
The PCB said the supporting cable distribution agreement with I-Media represents a break from the past in that it “seeks to ensure that that the broadcast content of PCB cricket is not redistributed without proper authorisation which was one of the reasons for greatly diminishing the value of PCB content."
Since a terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankan team in 2009, the PCB has been forced to stage most of its home international matches abroad, usually in the United Arab Emirates, which has had a negative impact on revenue. However, the improved security situation has facilitated some games in Pakistan in recent years.
The coronavirus pandemic has complicated scheduling in 2020, but, having returned from a tour of England, Pakistan are expected to host Zimbabwe for a limited overs series starting on 20 October.
The PCB plans to invest Rs15 billion ($90 million) in domestic cricket over the next three years, with the money to go towards upgrading stadiums and infrastructure, development projects and improving player remuneration and welfare.