The management of Global Media Rights for the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) has undergone significant changes, marking a departure from the previous approach to broadcasting rights. Initially, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was worried about the financial implications of selling the media rights for the HBL PSL separately from the international rights. However, a crucial decision by the government’s management committee allowed for this independent sale in Pakistan, although daily operations remained restricted.
This strategic shift triggered a dynamic bidding process, with six prominent companies actively competing for broadcast rights. Notably, the winning company bagged the broadcasting and live streaming rights of the ninth and tenth editions of the league outside Pakistan, a sign of keen interest and strong competition in the market.
The final deal for the two-year rights was clinched at a substantial amount of $450,000 (approximately Rs. 1.26 billion), with the first year alone costing $225,000 (roughly Rs. 63 crore). It is worth noting that despite none of the companies meeting the reserve price in the initial bid reviews, the final contract amount represented a remarkable 41% increase in value compared to the previous year’s rights.
The Pakistani team and HBL PSL matches were included in the global media rights under the previous framework, which included the HBL PSL. On the other hand, only the rights to the ninth and tenth league editions were sold this time, suggesting a deliberate realignment of the contract’s duration.
The upcoming PSL event, scheduled to commence on February 17 in Lahore, holds immense significance, with the reigning champions, Lahore Qalandars, set to defend their title. The teams will assemble on February 12, with practice sessions leading up to the 16th of February, and the matches kicking off the following day.
There are going to be 34 matches played in Pakistan; 11 of those will take place in Karachi, 9 in each of Lahore and Rawalpindi, and 5 in Multan. This season, there will be five home games for each of the following teams: Islamabad United, Multan Sultans, Lahore Qalandars, and Karachi Kings. There will be four games for Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore and Rawalpindi. The Quetta Gladiators, meanwhile, will travel to three different cities for three games: Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi.
The changed dynamics of media rights management, including the separate sale of rights, increased bidding competition, and increased contract sums, highlight the PSL’s growing commercial appeal among fans and stakeholders and its global stature. As fans eagerly await the ninth and tenth editions, these developments are poised to contribute to the league’s continued growth and success.