Pakistan news July 10, 2013

PCB contemplate series-based broadcast deal

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is contemplating a series-based deal with broadcasters for the forthcoming matches in this season. Pakistan are scheduled to play two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s against South Africa in Sharjah and Dubai, from October 14. They are also scheduled to play Sri Lanka in the UAE, although the two boards have not confirmed the dates.

The PCB is yet to finalise a broadcasting deal after its five-year contract with TEN Sports, worth $140 million, ended last month. However, the PCB incurred a loss of nearly $80 million on this deal, following the cancellation of bilateral series against India between 2009 and 2011. The broadcasting deal is one of the major sources of income for the PCB and, with no series against India scheduled until 2020, these could be testing times for the board as it may be hit by a financial crunch following a long-standing budget-deficit. In 2011-12, the deficit was nearly 700 million Pakistani rupees.

The PCB's Governing Board, in their emergency meeting at the National Cricket Academy, has decided to appoint the former ICC president Ehsan Mani as their advisor on their television deal.

"We are yet to issue a tender for the broadcaster after finishing our five-year deal last month," a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "It requires a specific procedural time and systematic restructuring of the bidding process and finalising the deal. But we have an alternative, i.e. to go with a series-by-series deal - in case we need that for any of our upcoming home series - before going into a long-term deal with a broadcaster."

The interim setup of the PCB may also be affecting its chances of securing a long-term deal. The suspension of Zaka Ashraf as chairman led to a delay in the PCB budget this year and the process of renewing the broadcasting deal was also delayed as a result. The PCB's functions were on hold for almost a month, until the appointment of interim chairman Najam Sethi. The Islamabad High Court has ordered Sethi to hold elections within 90 days but has not given a detailed order. Although the PCB refused to comment on its internal functioning, it has confirmed that the bidding process for a broadcaster is currently on hold, with various other issues taking precedence. It is likely the board may look to secure a six-year deal next year, once a more stable administrative setup is in place.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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