In the middle of Covid19 pandemic, cricket economy has completely gone for toss. As the big cricket boards like BCCI, Cricket Australia, England Cricket Board are trying their best to minimize the damage, most of the others are struggling to get their act together. Especially the current commercial environment will take toll on those cricket boards who on this treacherous road is yet to find the broadcast rights partner. According to InsideSport estimates, the Cricket West Indies (CWI), Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will have to take 25-30% cuts on the potential media rights deals.
Cricket West Indies the most precariously placed
The most precariously placed of all the boards is the Cricket West Indies which according to their own admission is in ‘financial ICU’.
As reported earlier by InsideSport.co, the CWI management in on road since last 7 months now to finalize a global broadcast deal but have failed in their pursuit. The last deal with Ten Sports (Now part of Sony Pictures Network) got over at the starting of the year. The seven year deal with Ten Sports was worth USD 97 million.
– CWI is already without a broadcast partner for now 6 months. This translates into loss of revenue for two quarters
– The domestic market for CWI is negligible.
– Negotiations with Sony Pictures Network has not moved forward. The offer from SPN is far below CWI’S expectations.
– In the current market, CWI will have to take minimum 30% hit on their rights portfolio.
Sri Lanka Cricket struggling – Tender postponed 7 times
Like CWI, SLC is also struggling to get a broadcast partner since the month of February. 7 times tender timelines have been changed, less due to Covid19 but more because of limited interest from the bidders. SLC has another peculiar problem – most of their lucrative home series including India tour has been postponed in these times. With depleted calendar it will be impossible for the bidders (No Star, No Discovery) to pay what SLC is expecting.
– SLC first of all already has lost almost 4 series from FTP
– SPN is the only serious taker
– The values for SLC media rights will see minimum 20-25% erosion
Pakistan Cricket Board – Will they get India broadcast partner ?
Since the time PCB has started monetizing media rights, it has been the Indian broadcasters who have picked their rights. But in the current political circumstances it will be difficult for PCB to attract any Indian broadcaster.
PCB’S current media rights deal with Ten Sports (Now SPN) has already lapsed. So currently the Pakistan Board is without a broadcast partner. PCB’S next home series is scheduled for October and they are yet to even initiate the media rights sales process for the next cycle. In these difficult times it will be hard for PCB to find a decent buyer, especially as the biggest buyer of cricket rights in the region i.e Star India in all likelihood will stay away from the tender.
Bangladesh Cricket Board – Yet to launch tender process
Like PCB, BCB also is currently without the broadcast partner. BCB’S 5 year deal with the local broadcaster GAZI TV ended in March but the board is yet to even finalize the way forward on the tender for the next cycle.
Like PCB, BCB also may not find any interest from the Indian broadcaster in the current circumstances. But unlike most of the other struggling boards BCB is far better placed on the back strength of their local market. For BCB, the dependency on the big Indian broadcasters like Star Sports / Sony is far less as proved during the last tender cycle. In the last cycle BCB rights were picked by local players for USD 20.1 Million. The local partners will not give BCB any big raise but in GAZI, Channel9 and some other local players the Bangladesh media market has enough strength to at least keep the board afloat.
NewZealand Cricket and Cricket South Africa are lucky to get their broadcast deals in place before the pandemic hit. Lesser said about the other smaller boards the better. Neither Afghanistan Cricket Board in this market will get any takers, nor any other newly elevated board will get value propositions from the market hit by Covid19.