LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced the consortium of Blitz Advertising and Techfront as its broadcast and live-streaming partner for the star-studded Pakistan Super League (PSL) from 2019 to 2021.
While the final figure on the agreement will remain confidential, the new agreement is 358 per cent more than the previous three years of one of the most competitive and well-organised tournaments on the planet.
The deal includes TV and digital streaming rights and is said to be worth approximately US $36 million.
With the broadcast and live-streaming rights now finalised, further details on local and foreign TV channels, which will air live action of the HBL PSL 2019 from February 14, will be finalised and then released in due course.
Blitz Advertising is part of Pakistan’s largest full-service communications group with nationwide presence and represents Publicis Media, the world’s premier media management group in Pakistan. Techfront, a UAE-based affiliate of Global Sports Commerce (GSC), is one of the largest sports technology and management companies providing dynamic solutions and commercial management to leading sports stakeholders.
The rights were initially valued at around US $41 million for three years, but a drastic and rapid fall in the Pakistan rupee’s value against the dollar in that time has meant that the value was closer to US $33 million. Against that, the final deal has exceeded expectations. PTV and Ten Sports had submitted a joint bid, though it is believed to have been around half the value, media reports said.
“We have successfully exceeded our targets for the new HBL PSL broadcast and live-streaming rights,” PCB Chairman Ehsan Manisaid.
“I would like to congratulate and thank Blitz Advertising and Techfront for partnering with us once again. This is a time-tested partnership and our joint objective, for the next three years, is to ensure that HBL PSL continues to grow in terms of fan engagement.”
The bid process for the new rights cycle saw tremendous interest from multiple parties, with added focus on the live-streaming rights of HBL PSL in a growing digital market.
“I would like to thank all the companies who expressed their interest in partnering with us for the next three years. We value and appreciate their interest and support,” concluded Mr Mani.
CEO of Blitz Advertising Ahsen Idris said: “Blitz Advertising has had three wonderful years with HBL PSL and this new three-year partnership is a win achieved with a six.
“Taking heart from past successes, we will make this a win-win scenario for all stakeholders and will play our role to see the game of cricket in Pakistan benefit from this partnership.”
Managing Director of Techfront MS Muralidharan said: “We have been involved with HBL PSL since its very first season in various capacities. We are glad to have procured the global broadcast and live-streaming rights for HBL PSL rom 2019-2021.
“The tournament has been a huge success and will continue to grow globally. We are committed to widening the reach of the tournament and we look forward to working with Pakistan Cricket Board once again.”
The PSL returns to action with a glittering opening ceremony in Dubai followed by the opening game between Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars on February 14, 2019. For the first time in the short history of this tournament, eight matches at the backend of the tournament with Lahore staging three and Karachi hosting five, including the March 17, 2019 final.