Pakistan Cricket Board rips up deal with PSL international rights partner
The Pakistan Cricket Board has terminated its deal with Techfront International FZE, the company that has been distributing international media rights to the Pakistan Super League Twenty20 competition, citing contractual violations.
The governing body said yesterday that the firm had committed “a series of breaches, including matters relating to payments.”
The PCB is already in the market for broadcasting partners for next year’s competition, and has indicated it is prepared to take legal action to secure compensation and damages.
Techfront, a UAE-based sports technology and management company, was awarded international rights for three years to 2021, and had helped secure multiple partners for this year's competition, the first to be held entirely in Pakistan.
However, in a statement, PSL project executive Shoaib Naveed said: “The PCB works professionally and with integrity and transparency. In this instance, the partner, despite repeated reminders and discussions, failed to honour its commitment and obligations, leaving the PCB with no other option but to terminate the agreement.
“The termination of the agreement at this stage was also necessary so the PCB had sufficient time to start exploiting other avenues and partners for the future HBL Pakistan Super League events. Since its inception in 2016, the HBL PSL has become one of the most attractive and competitive leagues around the world.
“The PCB is already in discussions with various sub-licensees and relevant broadcasters in the international territories. The process is already under way to ensure a robust media rights strategy for the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021 and onwards.”
As a result of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 PSL was suspended in March. However, it is set to return in November, with three play-off matches and the final, all in Lahore.
The split with Techfront comes in the same week that the PCB concluded a new domestic broadcasting rights deal for Pakistan home matches and other national competitions, with state broadcaster PTV.
It 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 the new broadcasting arrangements through to 2023.