The PCB will be worse off by nearly PKR 90 million as a result of the withdrawal of state broadcaster PTV (Pakistan Television) from bidding for the rights of a production deal for the series against Zimbabwe and domestic cricket. A consortium led by UAE-based Tower Sports and Indian production company SportzWorkz ultimately won the rights for production.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the winning bid was worth PKR 359 million – that is, how much it will cost the PCB to outsource production of those matches. PTV’s bid, made alongside another Dubai-based production firm IPG, came in at PKR 270 million and it would’ve been the lowest had the broadcaster not pulled out.
A PTV official said a lack of time in the bidding process meant “procedural requirements” could not be completed. “There was acute paucity of the time needed to complete the procedural requirements which wasn’t really possible leading to their withdrawal.”
PTV’s withdrawal did come as a surprise given that discussions between the broadcaster and board had been advanced, and a deal all but finalised. In one email exchange, PTV had revised their bid figure to include the cost of commentators such as Ramiz Raja, Wasim Akram and Bazid Khan for the tournament. That took the value to PKR 270,581,367. The next day, however, PTV pulled out forcing PCB to go to the second lowest bid.
“The PTV withdrew their offer on 23 September 2020 prior to a decision on the final evaluation of their offer or those of the parties who had submitted proposals under the earlier initiated process,” a board spokesman told ESPNcricinfo.
“With the first match scheduled to air on 30th September 2020, PCB awarded the Production Rights to the lowest bidding party, i.e. TowerSports/Sportsworkz. PTV partnered with IPG to submit a technical and financial offer for this coverage. PCB evaluated PTV’s bid in good faith in order to ensure that the offer was technically compliant as per PCB’s requirements.”
The rights include 33 games in the National T20 Cup starting from September 30, 11 matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and a series of three ODIs and T20Is against Zimbabwe in Multan and Rawalpindi.
The PCB has signed a three-year broadcast deal with PTV to broadcast all Pakistan’s home bilateral commitments as well as all domestic cricket. PTV Sports is one of only a handful of sports broadcasters in Pakistan, although its production capacity has long been in need of an upgrade. As a result, the broadcaster had teamed up with IPG to ensure that technical benchmarks of the bid were fulfilled.