SPN and Sky among broadcasters to land Lanka Premier League rights
Sony Pictures Networks, the leading pay-television broadcaster on the Indian subcontinent, has secured rights to the upcoming Lanka Premier League, Sri Lanka's new domestic Twenty20 competition, in multiple territories while Sky, the pay-television giant, has landed rights in the UK.
SPN has acquired the exclusive pay-TV and IPTV broadcast rights in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, as well as non-exclusive free-to-air rights in the same countries, excluding Sri Lanka.
In addition, state-owned Independent Television Network has won domestic rights, while the rights in another key cricket market of Pakistan have been snapped up by pay-TV broadcaster Geo and state broadcaster PTV.
The deals were brokered by Innovative Production Group, the Dubai-based sports broadcasting company which organises and manages the tournament’s commercial rights on behalf of Sri Lanka Cricket after it struck a five-year deal with the body in August.
IPG holds the rights to franchises, broadcasting, ground sponsorship and AV production with SLC only responsible for venues and umpires.
SLC builds on its existing long-standing relationship with SPN after it also sold its international media rights to the broadcaster in August in a deal running to 2023, extending a previous seven-year agreement between the two parties.
Rajesh Kaul, SPN chief revenue officer, distribution and head of sports business, said: “We share a long-standing relationship with the SLC board and as the rights holders of Sri Lanka Cricket, this is a natural extension. The Lanka Premier League is a good brand of cricket that is set to feature many sub-continent players making it a very attractive addition to our cricket portfolio.”
Ravin Wickramasinghe, LPL tournament director, added: "The global reach of the LPL's broadcasting partners will help the league grow in stature and will help the league connect with millions of fans across the globe."
The major rights deals come as a huge boost to the LPL after several high-profile players were forced to withdraw this week, including home star Lasith Malinga and the West Indies’ Chris Gayle, before two foreign players also tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in the country.
The LPL features five teams - Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna – which will compete in 23 matches over a 15-day period.
Sri Lanka’s first domestic T20 franchise league of note, which was originally mooted to begin in late-August, is set to be held entirely in Hambantota and begins this Thursday, culminating on 16 December.