x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

PCB sells television rights to Dubai

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sold its television rights for the next five years to the Dubai-based Ten sports channel.

ABU DHABI // The Pakistan Cricket Board have sold the television rights for the next five years to the Dubai-based Ten Sports channel for US$140.5 million (Dh515m), the PCB's chief operating officer Saleem Altaf said. With foreign teams refusing to come to Pakistan because of security concerns, there were fears that television channels might come in at a lesser price, but Altaf described the deal as "excellent'. "It is an excellent deal which will run from 2009 to 2013 for a period of five years and will start from our home series against India," Altaf said. However, that series is under cloud and Altaf said those bidding for the rights were aware of the technicalities and also the fact that the PCB have lined up alternate venues like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Ten Sports is owned by the Gulf-based businessman Abdur Rehman Bukhatir, who is also the president of the Emirates Cricket Board. Ten Sports also held the cricket rights from 2004 to 2008 along with ARY Television Network for a price of $42.5 million. Altaf insisted that the bidding process was fair. "The process of bidding is based on optimum situation which is that all teams will tour Pakistan as per schedule and if teams do not come we have the option of playing at neutral venue," said Altaf. The other bidders were Geo Super, Nimbus Sports and ARY Television network. Incidentally, a 50 per cent stake in Ten Sports is owned by Zee Television who also run the Indian Cricket League. There are 10 tours scheduled during the period, including two from India in a total of 26 Tests, 43 ODIs and eight 20-20 games. kshyam@thenational.ae