Sony Pictures Networks India, a pay-television broadcaster was Sri Lanka global media rights holder. The deal was of seven-years, 2013 to March 2020 and was worth about $60m (€56m). Approximately $25m out of $60m was for the India tour of Sri Lanka in 2017. Moreover, it was reported by Indian media that Sony covered production cost for Sri Lanka Cricket worth around $14m.
Unfortunately, Sri Lanka global media rights for the period 2020–2023 has remained unsold for almost three months, since the tender closed in February 2020. Sri Lanka global media rights consisted of two packages firstly, for radio and Television and secondly, for digital platforms. It seems Sri Lanka cricket board is not satisfied with the bids it received in response to the tender.
The board is selling its media rights for a three years duration from 2020 (whenever cricket resumes after COVID-19 pandemic) through to 2023. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deal has been effectively held back. If the two tours doesn’t take place, Sri Lanka will have their home series cancelled (first being England tour to Sri Lanka). Sri Lanka Cricket receives an enormous share of profits from India tour to Sri Lanka and the board is depending on this specific tour.
By looking at the schedule, it seems tough for the series to take place at such short notice.
Written – Mohit Edupuganti