Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) has initiated talks with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and agreed, in principle, for a three-year broadcast deal. The agreement will enable Sony to show all of Pakistan’s home international games, besides the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
It is rare because the PCB cricket has been largely an untouchable property for the Indian broadcasters of late, mainly because of the persisting tension at the border. So much so, some of Pakistan cricket, the PSL included, was live-streamed rather live-telecast in India in the recent times. The DSport channel showed the 2018 edition and abruptly stopped 2019 edition after the Pulwama attacks.
The Pakistan board has finally managed to land a full-time Indian broadcaster now. PCB chairman Ehsan Mani confirmed the talks but refused to divulge details. “I don’t comment on such things. It is a fact that the matches will be shown in India. I don’t deal in such things, my commercial department is dealing with it. Yes, we are close to a deal with Sony,” the PCB boss said.
A Sony official confirmed to Cricbuzz that it is a done deal and the arrangement could kickstart from the forthcoming Pakistan-South Africa series. “We have agreed on everything in principle and if all things fall in place, we could start showing the games as early as January 26 itself,” the Sony official said. “All their games, be it in Pakistan or in UAE, will be on Sony Sports for three years.”
South Africa are already in Pakistan and they will play two Tests and three T20Is, in that order.
Sony was showing the Pakistan games previously too but as a carry-forward arrangement, post its takeover of Ten Sports in 2016. The PSL was not part of that agreement. After that deal ended a year back, the contract was not renewed. Now the two parties have come together, again. This year’s PSL is scheduled to commence on February 20.