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Consortium featuring McDonald and Norris lands PSL production

The Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed the consortium of Tower Sports and SportzWorkz to handle broadcast production for the 2020 Pakistan Super League, the first edition of the Twenty20 competition to be played entirely in its home country.

Following an invitation to tender process, Pakistan-registered Tower Sports and Singapore-registered SportzWorkz emerged victorious, bringing heavyweight industry expertise to the PSL.

Tower Sports and SportzWorkz succeed the Blitz and Trans Group consortium, which handled production for the 2019 PSL after IMG Reliance pulled out of its production contract.

The production team will be led by experienced executives Chris McDonald and Steve Norris. McDonald has previously served as senior vice-president at pan-Asian broadcaster ESPN Star Sports. He has also served as chief executive, and was one of the founding members of Indian sports broadcaster Ten Sports.

Norris has over three decades of sports media and production experience and was part of the team that helped launch pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in the UK and Ten Sports in South Asia. After leaving BT, he recently joined Gravity Media, the broadcast production and outside broadcast services company, as director, production and content.
Norris was also the head of production at Ten Sports, which handled production of all Pakistan cricket matches from 2000 to 2006.

The PSL this season takes place across Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi from February 20 to March 22.

As part of the PSL contract, the PCB said Tower Sports and SportzWorkz would work to train Pakistani camera and technical crew.

SportzWorkz chairman McDonald said:Part of our commitment to the PCB and to Pakistan itself is to train local TV production professions on delivering a state of the art, top level, international live cricket production.

“We will be developing local capacity by conducting in-venue and classroom-style training during the PSL for Pakistan professionals interested in having a career in sports production. Our goal, simply put, is to have a majority-Pakistani crew in two to three years from now.”

PSL 2020 will be the fifth season of the League, which has previously been held mainly in the UAE owing to the security concerns surrounding top-level cricket in Pakistan.

In November 2019, the PCB filed a claim for damages against the IMG-Reliance agency after the Indian company pulled out of a production agreement for the PSL earlier in the year.

IMG-Reliance agreed a production deal with the PCB back in January 2019 but opted to withdraw from the deal the following month in the wake of a terrorist attack in the Indian region of Kashmir. The PCB later named the Blitz and Trans Group consortium as its new production partner.