SLC seals deal with Sony TV, TWI

Wednesday, 5 August 2020 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

When international cricket will return to Sri Lanka is a matter of conjecture 

By Sa’adi Thawfeeq

Sri Lanka Cricket has eventually struck a deal with Sony Pictures Network who will retain the broadcasting and digital rights for all home international cricket matches played in Sri Lanka for the next three years from 2020.

“We are quite pleased with what we have received. We have also received the Sports Ministry approval to go ahead,” was the comment made by Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva at the successful conclusion of the contract that had seemed to have run into some turbulent weather, over certain figures quoted by Sony TV which SLC were not quite pleased with.

“After negotiating, they have enhanced the figures and we are quite happy considering the times and the situation in world cricket and market conditions,” De Silva said. The ground rights for the next three years has been secured by ITW Consulting Ltd., an Indian company who came in for the Nidahas trophy hosted by Sri Lanka in 2018.

With COVID-19 still not showing any signs of abating, the markets are becoming tougher and uncertain as shown by the fact that Cricket Boards of countries like New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are still struggling to find suitable television broadcasters.

Sri Lanka in that sense have been lucky somewhat to retain Sony TV for their broadcasting and digital rights. That partnership comes from the good rapport both SLC and Sony TV has built over the years, which dates back to 2002. “They have been good paymasters and they’ve never defaulted. The credibility of the company itself they are about the best there is no doubt,” said De Silva.

From which point in time Sony TV can commence their new contract remains to be seen as COVID-19 has pushed back the Future Tours Program (FTP) as teams are unable to travel abroad with airports being shut throughout the world to try and curb the pandemic.

Sri Lanka has already postponed tours to the country by England, South Africa, India and Bangladesh. A lot will depend on whether SLC’s proposed Lanka Premier League scheduled to commence on 28 August with several international cricketers due to participate, is given the green light by the government.

At present, the government has imposed travel restrictions to the country on the advice of its health authorities and closed all international airports.