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MSM secures Sri Lanka v India rights

Sony-owned Indian broadcaster Multi Screen Media has secured broadcast and sponsorship rights to the cricket Test series between Sri Lanka and India.

The three-match series will take place in Sri Lanka between August 12 and September 1, with games in Galle, Colombo and Kandy to be shown on MSM’s Sony Six channel.

Sri Lanka’s regular media rights partner is Ten Sports, part of the Essel Group whose long-standing conflict with the Board of Control for Cricket in India was viewed as a threat to the series.

However, India is playing in Sri Lanka to replace its curtailed series against West Indies last year. As it is not part of Sri Lanka’s previously-planned itinerary, the series did not fall under Sri Lanka Cricket’s agreement with Ten Sports.

Following an initial tender process in which Ten Sports’s sole bid was rejected by SLC, MSM “offered a substantially higher figure to the satisfaction of SLC” according to a statement from the governing body. The deal is reportedly worth $3.2m (€2.9m).

Ten Sports chief executive Rajesh Sethi told Indiantelevision.com: “Firstly, this has nothing to do with BCCI-Subhash Chandra (Essel Group owner) relationship and we have a very cordial relationship with the Sri Lanka Cricket Board as well.

“This series was not a part of the deal and hence separate bidding took place, which is absolutely normal and technical. We also did bid for the series but we have to understand it is a three Test match series, with no ODIs or T20 matches and hence going ballistic was not our strategy. If it was a fully-fledged series with Test, ODIs and T20s, we would have aggressively pushed for it.”