Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has entered in a separate and exclusive negotiation with Sony Picture Network (SPN) for the long pending tender for the media rights. According to information available with InsideSport, SPN was the only interested party to submit its bid for the SLC rights. None of the other company including a leading Sports media rights marketing company from India submitted their bid. As reported earlier by InsideSport, Star India, Discovery and others stayed away from the tender which has got postponed multiple times over the last 4 months.
According to SLC sources, Sony had earlier submitted bid for all media rights (Television – Digital combine) for $22.5 Mn and that stays their final bid amount.
Cricket Business : SLC to negotiate with SPN but the broadcaster unlikely to increase the offer
The sources further inform InsideSport that the offer by SPN is way below the expectations of SLC. But owing to the limited interest by the other parties, SLC are not left with any option but to accept the offer. Though SLC according to the source will attempt one last time to negotiate with the broadcaster.
“Market has not responded to our rights favorably. Coronavirus has taken its toll. The board will try one last time to negotiate with Sony to increase the price and we are confident that they being our long term partner will understand our situation”, said one of the SLC board member following the bid process closely.
Low offer is not the only thing which is worrying SLC. The sources tells InsideSport that SPN’S offer is conditional. In case the postponed tour of Indian cricket team to Sri Lanka does not materialize in the contract period, the offered values will be eroded by almost 40-45%.
“We are confident, BCCI will reschedule the series soon. It is a committed series in the FTP and cannot be cancelled. It is just a matter of rescheduling the series but this is true that Sony’s offer to us will reduce considerably if God forbid tour gets cancelled for some reasons”, added the SLC Board member.
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Cricket Business : SPN’s low offer, big dent on SLC revenues
The low offer from SPN will make a huge dent on SLC’s balance sheets. SLC earned almost $60Mn from their media rights deal last time. $34.87M was the value minus India tour of 2017. India tour in 2017 was valued separately at $25.5M.
SLC Media Rights Values in numbers (Last Deal)
– The SLC Media Rights deal with SPN – Ten / Sony finished in March 2020
– 7 year deal was valued at $34.87 Mn – Minus India tour of 2017
– India tour was separately valued at $25.5 Mn
– The deal was also packaged with the ground rights of SLC.
– The Incumbent Broadcast partner charged SLC 13-14 Mn as Production Cost
In comparison to the last deal, SLC tender this time is just for 3 years and also the ground rights are not packaged with the media rights.
But by any standard the offer in hand is far below the SLC’s deal with Ten Sports last time. This clearly shows that the world’s biggest cricket market aided by the Indian broadcasters are no more ready to shell out big bucks for the foreign board rights anymore.
Earlier New Zealand cricket did not find any takers for their next cycle rights in India, Cricket West Indies is struggling for a broadcast contract with the Indian broadcaster since the last 7 months. Bangladesh & Pakistan Cricket boards will feel the pinch as soon as they come to the market in next month or so. The cricket media rights market without any doubt is shrinking.