HBL PSL: LCIA to resolve dispute between PCB, broadcasters

The board had tried to encash the insurance guarantee over the last two seasons

HBL PSL: LCIA to resolve dispute between PCB, broadcasters PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is caught in another court case with the broadcasters of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL), sources have revealed.

According to details, the PCB had sold the broadcasting and live streaming rights of the HBL PSL for 36 million dollars, for a three-year period, in 2018. The agreement states that the board will get 25 per cent of the amount due before the start of the event, 25 per cent at the time of the final while the remainder will be paid within the next 60 days. An additional time of 15 days can also be given if needed.

However, over the last two seasons, the PCB had allegedly asked for the full payment before the conclusion of the event.

Last year, the board tried to encash the insurance guarantee, worth over one billion rupees, but the media right holders took a stay order from the Lahore High Court. The PCB once again tried to do the same thing, for the sixth edition of HBL PSL, but this time they claimed an amount more than the insurance guarantee by including surcharges. It must be noted that an insurance company cannot process a claim which is more than the original amount. The media rights holders have once again taken a stay order against this step.

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The PCB was not keen on taking post-dated cheques from the rights holders but later it had to on orders of the court.

In accordance with the terms of the contract, the matter will now be resolved by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and their judge will arrive in Pakistan today to assess the case.

The tender for the next cycle of HBL PSL media rights will soon be released and it is likely that the current holders will be disqualified. Although, it is unlikely that any other company in Pakistan will be able to match the bid of the current rights holders. Inorder to counter this, a consortium could be made so that the necessary amount can be generated.

On the other hand, the financial accounts for the fifth and sixth season are yet to be finalised which has consequently meant that the franchises are still not making a profit.

Also, the second leg of HBL PSL 6 in Abu Dhabi did not get the desired results, in terms of revenue, as the TV ratings were down due to late night matches and lack of interest from sponsors. The marketing strategy for the remainder of matches was also questionable as it failed to generate the necessary hype.