Pakistan news September 6, 2013

PCB strikes up short-term TV-rights deals

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Dubai-based TV channel Ten Sports and Pakistani sports channel Geo Super bagged the television rights for Pakistan's upcoming series against South Africa and Sri Lanka, in the UAE, respectively. The values of the deals have been kept confidential by the PCB, but the board said they are "higher" than the previous contract. Both the broadcasters will cover the production cost as well as that of the technology used for the DRS on their own.

"The PCB will not be announcing the rights-fee amounts finalised for these tours," a PCB spokesman said. "The offers, however, are significantly higher than the values that PCB had received for these series under the previous media rights contract."

Ten claimed a series of two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s, while Geo will be televising three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s along with the one-off T20 between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan's previous five-year deal with Ten concluded in July, with the PCB contemplating series-by-series deals while the caretaker board set-up, led by Najam Sethi, is in charge; the interim setup of the PCB affected the chances of securing a long-term deal, with Sethi's powers limited and reduced to a day-to-day basis.

Geo, apart from the international series, holds the TV rights for domestic cricket in Pakistan until October this year. The channel, which televised the feed of 2011 World Cup matches, is said to have run into financial difficulties with previous broadcast deals to show world events. The PCB, in order to counter financial defaulting, has asked the broadcaster for a full bank guarantee before the series.

The deal with Geo is understood to be questionable, with Sethi involved in a case of conflict of interest as he is a key employee of Geo TV Network. He is Pakistan's senior-most journalist and an anchor of Geo News' popular political programme Aapas ki Baat. The PCB however defended the process, saying it was fully transparent.

"Two bidders participated in the bidding process," the spokesman said. "The financial bids of both were evaluated in accordance with the terms of the invitation to tender. As a result of this process, the offer from Ten Sports for South Africa series, being the highest, and the offer of Geo for the Sri Lanka series, also being the highest, was recommended by the bids committee to the board of governors of the PCB for approval. This approval has since been received [and] the media rights for the two tours have accordingly been awarded, and this transparent tender process has been concluded."

The bidding process was conducted by former ICC President Ehsan Mani, who apart from being the advisor was the bids committee head, along with another independent member, retired justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi.

The broadcasting deal is one of the major sources of income for the PCB. The previous TV deal, worth approximately USD 140 million suffered a hefty loss of USD 80 million following the cancelation of two bilateral series against India. While the PCB refused to reveal the value of the short-term deals, ESPNcricinfo understands the value of two series would negatively affect the long-term deal next year.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on September 13, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    it is good that pcb made a successfull deal.i want to say that pcb also need to make sure that these channels should broadcast the matces with maximum availble facilities related with technology.hd coverage with maximum cameras in the ground.hawkeye.ultramotion cameras are also neccessdary.and good commentory team.

  • dummy4fb on September 8, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Well, guys we need to bit this bitter pill now and get used to watching only 3 balls of an over, substandard technology, frustrating commentators and tsunami of commercials from the geo and genay do.

  • dummy4fb on September 8, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Pakistani cricket fans have to remember that more money into the PCB should mean (and that is a very important emphasis on should) -- more investment into Pakistani cricket. There are wasim akrams and inzimam's out there they need to be groomed. This is not a question of "i wish PTV sports had the rights" etc....if you want Pakistan to be No1 we have to support the PCB and make sure its transparent, has good business leaders who are honest leading the "business" of the game and have the best cricketers and coaches finding talent across the country - not just in lahore & khi

  • FahadIqbal90 on September 8, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    For all concerned, PTV Sports will still show the matches because they hold the rights for terrestrial network, no matter which channel broadcasts the series. This law was made by PCB after Geo failed to broadcast the first ODI of a Pakistan-New Zealand series a few years back. For me, the biggest concern is that Geo Super will make a mockery of the DRS and will end up strengthening the anti-DRS stance. Also, it will be a nightmare if Geo Super employs its usual commentators.

  • najeeb.khan on September 7, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    if Geo will do it all on its own then it will be interesting to see there coverage. specially keeping in mind the DRS facility.

  • FarhanSabir on September 7, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    What do you expect from an en employee of GEO TV. Geo has been trying this for many many years and now they finally got the contract. I remember the whole country was unable to watch the series between Pakistan and New Zealand in mid 2000s because of Geo Tv. I won't be surprised if this happens again

  • SaadRocx on September 7, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    What a shame PTV sports isn't allowed to telecast the series that too pak home series???while Geo Super telecasts IPL,BPL and all that???PTV Sports is the leading channel of Pakistan at the moment and always works for Pak Sport's interests..and far far better than Over rated GeoSuper.

  • dummy4fb on September 7, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    ptv sports is far better than geo super because ptv sports is teristrial also which geo super but in my opinion both channel should stay alive and geo super is showing pakistan cricket match after 2011 i thinkgeo has also services for pak cricket itshould stay alive

  • Cric_fever_forever on September 7, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    i think ptv holds some rights to televise the series after all its pak home series. any way its such a shame that geo would televise the series i hope there local commentators are not part of the series they do pathetic commentry. feel sorry for the people who can not reach geo super especiallly the one in villages.

  • hunain94 on September 7, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    Finally geo grabs something but i think ptv sports is noow leading channel of pakistan they should be given the rights to show every pakistan cricket series..........................

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