Incumbent rights-holder Sony Pictures Networks India is the only serious bidder in an ongoing tender process for Sri Lanka Cricket’s international media rights, according to Indian news website InsideSport.
The tender was first released in February and covers a three-year period from this year – whenever cricket resumes post-Covid-19 – through to 2023.
The sales process has been hampered by the interruption of cricket. The most valuable rights in the package are for India’s planned tour of Sri Lanka this June and July. SLC is to make a call this week on whether the series, and one with Bangladesh in August, will go ahead. Both look unlikely. The India series was to comprise three Twenty20 and three one-day international matches.
InsideSport reports that the tender has received a weak response, with few bidders, and that there have been several changes to the tender documents and extensions of the deadline since its issue.
Sri Lanka Cricket’s international media rights have historically been acquired by Indian broadcasters, with that market accounting for most of their value. Pay-television broadcaster Sony is the current rights-holder, in a seven-year deal running from 2013 to end-March 2020.
The Indian subcontinent’s most powerful sports broadcaster, Star India, is reported not to have shown strong interest in the rights so far, and neither has pay-television group Discovery.
InsideSport reports that Sony’s deal was worth $60.37m (€55.8m), of which $25.5m was for the India tour in 2017. Sony also covered production costs for SLC worth between $13m and $14m.