By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Jan 21 (APP): Resumption of cricket in Pakistan has attracted household sport broadcasters across the globe to partner with the Pakistan Cricket Board and secure media rights for the HBL Pakistan Super League and all home bilateral international matches till 2023.
After premier sport networks PTV Sports and SuperSport had acquired Pakistan and Africa region’s media rights for Pakistan cricket, respectively last year, the PCB has now signed partnerships in North America, the Caribbean, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
As such, fans and supporters of Pakistan cricket will now be able to follow Babar Azam and his side as well as the HBL Pakistan Super League in North America though Willow TV, in the Caribbean through Flow Sports, in the United Kingdom through Sky Sports and in New Zealand through Sky NZ.
Discussions with potential broadcasters in Australia, Middle East and South Asia are underway and further details will be provided in due course.
The PCB had worked in close collaboration with its international media rights consultant Colgan Bauer and carried out a stringent analysis of each market. This included devising rights packaging and processes to enhance competition and quality broadcasters from all markets.
Until the end of 2022, Pakistan has lined-up a series of mouth-watering international cricket and topped up with the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021, 2022 and 2023, fans can brace to experience the most exciting and thrilling cricket to be participated in by some of the modern day elite cricketers.
Pakistan’s upcoming home bilateral cricket includes:
•2021 – vs South Africa (Tests & T20Is), New Zealand (white-ball), England (men’s and women’s T20Is) and the West Indies (white-ball)
•2022 – Australia (full tour), England (Tests & ODIs) and New Zealand (Tests & ODIs)
•2023 – FTP to be confirmed
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said here on Thursday : “Despite the challenging Covid-19 times, these remain incredibly exciting times for Pakistan cricket. The homecoming of all cricket has attracted leading sport broadcast partners to place Pakistan cricket on their networks which, in turn, will provide enhanced access to our fans and supporters across the world to follow and stay connected with us.
“This is a huge achievement for the PCB, not only in terms of succeeding in taking cricket to our global fans through these popular networks but to also maximise and exploit our media rights to ensure we continue to invest in our player welfare and development as well as cricketing infrastructure.
“It has been a calculated and strategic approach by the PCB and it revolved around bringing cricket back to Pakistan before we aggressively exploit our media rights programme. Till the HBL Pakistan Super League 2023, the world’s most attractive and leading international cricketers will be playing cricket in Pakistan and this is too tempting an opportunity for any top broadcaster to miss out on.
“The interest of these global sport networks also reflects that Pakistan cricket remains an attractive product for the international broadcasters. We now need to make our product bigger and stronger so that we can extend these partnerships and relationship beyond 2023.”
Sky Sports Director of Cricket, Bryan Henderson said: “We’re delighted to add Pakistan cricket to our portfolio starting with the visit of South Africa later this month, followed by the excellent HBL Pakistan Super League T20 tournament. Later in the year England’s men and women’s teams will play in Karachi – we can’t wait.
“This announcement is a fantastic way to begin 2021 for Sky Sports as we look forward to a thrilling domestic summer of cricket which includes The Hundred for the very first time in addition to the visit of Pakistan in a busy international calendar for England.”
Sky NZ chief executive Sophie Moloney said : “We are delighted to add international PCB matches to our fantastic cricket line-up on Sky Sport. Our customers value the very best sporting content, and it’s our pleasure to be able to secure this for 2021 and beyond.”
Willow TV SVP Operations, Todd Myers said : “Willow TV’s goal is to serve cricket fans in the US and Canada with the best cricket from around the globe.
“Our continued relationship with the Pakistan Cricket Board and the HBL Pakistan Super League allows us to do just that by showcasing PCB’s world-class players and competitions exclusively across all of Willow TV’s platforms.”
Director, Entertainment Networks & Media Ops, Michael Look Tong said : “Flow Sports is absolutely pleased to partner with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to distribute their home series and HBL Pakistan Super League T20 in the Caribbean. Pakistan has a long cricket history in the region and has gained many fans over the decades.
“Several years ago we introduced the HBL Pakistan Super League T20 which enabled us to showcase many Caribbean players including Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Carlos Braithwaite, to the delight of our customers.
“We’re excited that the PCB is now part of our international cricket portfolio – the largest in the Caribbean.”