The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Wednesday that it has signed a three-year satellite broadcast deal with PTV Sports and a separate agreement to secure cable distribution with I-Media Communication Services.
“The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan who is a patron of the PCB. The broadcast deal will be for the 2020-2023 cycle,” the board said in a statement.
The broadcasting arrangement is structured to provide for increasing revenues over the three-year cycle and the PCB expects to earn in excess of $200 million during this period, the press release said.
Addressing the signing ceremony, the premier called the agreement a “positive step”. He said that the deal will increase PTV’s coverage and quality, according to Radio Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani thanked the prime minister for his “unwavering support” as well as the efforts of Information Minister Shibli Faraz and SAPM on Information Asim Saleem Bajwa in finalising the deal.
He also recognised their support in modernising PTV Sports and its production capabilities as well as digitalising cable networks, the statement said.
The broadcast agreement is only for Pakistan; the PCB will soon be finalising the grant of broadcast rights for international territories separately as well as launching a new structure for its digital media rights, it added.
According to the board, this is the first time in almost three decades that the broadcasting rights have been granted exclusively to a Pakistani broadcaster. This will allow fans of the game to watch competitive cricket and follow top players and teams during the domestic season, the statement said.
The deal also marks the launch of rebuilding PTV’s production and broadcast capabilities, it said. “The deal also seeks to create the impetus to expedite the conversion of analogue cable to digital cable in Pakistan which will go a long way in ensuring all cricket fans receive the highest quality and maximum quantity of cricket content on their television screens.
“Digital cable will allow cricket lovers to select from simultaneously played live matches and not miss [out on] any cricket match.”
Under the arrangement, all Pakistan International home series of the senior cricket team and the women’s and junior cricket teams will be broadcast on PTV Sports.
Additionally, for the first time all major domestic tournaments — including the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy, the National T-20 Cup, the One Day Pakistan Cup, and the National U-19 One-Day and National U-19 Three Day tournaments — will be broadcast live on PTV Sports and distributed across Pakistan on cable networks.
The supporting cable distribution agreement, unlike in the past, seeks to ensure that the PCB’s broadcast content cricket is not redistributed without proper authorisation, the statement said.
The statement added that the cricket board plans to invest Rs15 billion over the next three years in domestic cricket, which includes upgrading stadiums, building provincial academies and centres of excellence and employing over 100 former cricketers as coaches and managers for city cricket associations.