The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has secured a 358% rise for their new broadcast deal, which will run from 2019 to 2022. The deal includes TV and digital streaming rights and is said to be worth approximately US $36 million. A consortium of Blitz Advertising and Techfront beat five other bidders, including the state channel Pakistan Television (PTV) and Ten Sports, who hold rights to Pakistan's international cricket.
Blitz is an international media management group while Techfront is a UAE-based affiliate of Global Sports Commerce, a sports technology and management company. Techfront is located in Chennai in India, and they own the digital site Cricketgateway, which had showed the PSL online in the past two seasons. The consortium doesn't have a TV channel, but will now sell its output to TV channels that air the matches, with the production carried out by the PCB on its own.
"We have successfully exceeded our targets for the new PSL broadcast and live streaming rights," Ehsan Mani, the PCB chairman, said. "I would like to congratulate and thank Blitz Advertising and Techfront for partnering with us once again. This is a time-tested partnership and our joint objective, for the next three years, is to ensure that the PSL continues to grow in terms of fan engagement."
The rights were initially valued at around US $41 million for three years, but a drastic and rapid fall in the Pakistan rupee's value against the dollar in that time has meant that the value was closer to US $33 million. Against that, the final deal has exceeded expectations. PTV and Ten Sports had submitted a joint bid, though it is believed to have been around half the value.
In 2019, as many as eight PSL matches are set to be hosted in Pakistan, with the other 26 taking place in the UAE. With the sixth team renewing his ownership rights with the PCB, six franchises will compete with Islamabad United, who are the defending champions. The opening game between Islamabad and Lahore Qalandars will take place in Dubai on February 14.
By: Umar Farooq