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Ten Sports takes PCB’s Oz, NZ series rights for $5.4 mn

MUMBAI: ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s sports channel Ten Sports has bagged the commercial rights to Pakistan’s upcoming home series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE for a reported sum of $5.4 million.

Ten Sports CEO Rajesh Sethi confirmed the deal without getting into the details.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had got only one bid in response to its TV rights tender notice for the two series slated to be played from October to December and that was from Ten Sports.

To its surprise, Ten Sports had bid $2.9 million which is much lower than the base price of $8 million. Being the only bidder, Ten Sports refused to up its bid amount despite PCB’s plea.

Faced with an unrelenting Ten Sports, the PCB urged Sporty Solutionz and Nimbus Communications to bid for the two series. The two Indian companies obliged by bidding $4.8 million and $5.1 million respectively. Stumped by these two bids, Ten Sports was compelled to increase its bid amount to $5.4 million.

The PCB has been selling its broadcast rights on a series-to-series basis due to internal crisis. However, this time the PCB was forced to bundle the Australia and New Zealand series since the latter does not command much value among broadcasters.

The PCB is believed to have earlier made $9 million from the sale of broadcast rights to the South Africa and Sri Lanka series. While Ten Sports had bagged the broadcast rights to the South Africa series, the rights to the Sri Lanka series were awarded to Geo Super, which, in turn, had licensed the India rights to Multi Screen Media’s (MSM) sports channel Sony Six.