LAHORE: Once a lucrative venture for the Pakistan Cricket Board due to immense enthusiasm among fans, it seems the ongoing National T20 Cup in Multan has become a major liability for the PCB.
Dawn has learnt on authority that the PCB will pay Rs80 million (around Rs 600,000 per day) to PTV for its live coverage of the said tournament. Though the PCB has 70 per cent share from the revenue through advertisements on PTV during the matches of the event, a poor response for any commercial will not help the PCB to even clear the cost of the live transmission. Last year, PTV also charged the PCB Rs60 million.
The timing of the Dec 10-25 tournament also did not benefit the PCB. The national event is not going to push the prominent players to go for extra effort to outshine rivals in order to find a place in any of the six Pakistan Super League (PSL) teams for the league’s fourth edition because the squads have already been picked up by all the franchises.
Furthermore, a number of national team members are also not available for the National T20 Cup because of their engagement with the national team currently touring South Africa.
In the past, it may be be mentioned here, the national T20 event had become hugely popular and handed the PCB handsome amounts through gate money, sale of media rights and title sponsorship.
This time around, however, the situation has significantly changed as almost all the expenditures are being borne by the PCB.
Moreover, Multan Cricket Stadium’s remote location has also resulted in poor response from fans who have not turned up in huge numbers to watch the National T20 Cup games. Additionally, the low-scoring matches of the ongoing event lacking power-hitting — a major factor in the popularity of T20 format — have lessened the general interest of fans.
And last but not the least, the current PCB set-up is presently being run without a marketing head. Naila Bhatti, the last marketing head of the PCB, had resigned after Ehsan Mani replaced Najam Sethi as the board chairman last September.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2018