27 Oct

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has issued an invitation to tender for a media and related rights for the rescheduled England tour of Sri Lanka.

The tender document on the SLC website calls for expressions of interest for the international television, radio, digital, gaming and betting rights with broadcasters and agencies asked to submit their interest by November 2.

In March, England’s two-test tour of Sri Lanka was postponed at the last minute after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recalled its players who were already in the country, due to the expanding Covid-19 threat.

The two-Test match series has been rescheduled for January 2021, dependent on the Covid-19 conditions.

The ‘Expressions of Interest’ process now issued covers the period from November 2020 to March 2023. Betting and gambling companies are prohibited from taking part in the process, SLC specified.

Indian pay-television broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks recently acquired the exclusive global media rights for Sri Lanka Cricket in a three-year deal from 2020 to 2023.

Sony’s deal covers rights on television and digital platforms for 92 days of live cricket, including two tours of Sri Lanka by the India team which will account for the majority of the value of the deal.

The deal also includes archive content. It excludes terrestrial, digital and radio rights in Sri Lanka, which have been retained by SLC and does not cover the England tour.

The Covid-19 pandemic has decimated Sri Lanka’s 2020 cricket season with two high-profile and financially lucrative international series cancelled as a result of the spread of the virus.

As well as the cancellation of the matches against England, India’s tour of the country, which was to include three ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals in June and July, was also postponed in March.

John Stephenson


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