Playing international teams on home soil might be a distant dream for Pakistan in near future,but still the nation’s fund-crunch cricket board can earn the same amount from broadcasting rights even if it plays its matches at neutral venues.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sold its television rights to the Dubai based Ten Sports channel for approximately USD 140.5 million earlier this year.
But after the recent terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore,doubts have emerged whether the PCB would get the guaranteed amount from the deal if Pakistan had to play its home matches at neutral venues.
“The position is the same,nothing changes. Even if Pakistan plays its home series abroad,Ten sports will pay it the same amount it would if matches are held in Pakistan,” said a well-informed PCB official.
“This basically means Pakistan will not lose any of its earnings from sale of television rights which is its major source of revenue generation for next four to five years,” he added.
The source said Ten Sports has already paid their first instalment of USD 10 million to the PCB as part of the long-term deal.
“Pakistan will be paid the same amount outlined in the contract even when they play Australia in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” the source said.
He pointed out that the broadcasters had no issues as they would incur production costs wherever the matches are held.
“The sale of title sponsorship and ground advertising rights is not their headache. These rights are with the PCB which has to sell them for matches at neutral venues,” he said.
The source said the PCB will have to work hard to sell sponsorship and advertising rights for matches at neutral venues,adding the cricket board might end up losing some local sponsorship if international teams didn’t tour Pakistan.
However,he pointed out that it wouldn’t affect the PCB’s income from the International Cricket Council or sale of television rights.
“Obviously local sponsors are asking questions after the attack of the Sri Lankan team whether and when international teams will start playing in Pakistan again,” he said.
He said in the last PCB budget,the annual expenditure was put at around USD 30 million but to curtail costs,Ezaj Butt-led new set-up has reduced administrative and development expenses in the revised budget.