Cricket Business: Pakistan Cricket Board taken to court by PSL media rights partner

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is already struggling for sponsorships of its national team currently on the tour of England. PCB currently also does not have any broadcast deal in place for its new bilateral cycle. And now they are also in legal dispute with the domestic media rights holder of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

PCB taken to court by PSL Media Rights Partner

The Blitz agency, domestic broadcast rights-holder of the PSL, has taken legal action against the PCB. Reason, as alleged by the agency is that PCB without completing the PSL Season 2019 has demanded for the pending payments and en-cashed the bank guarantee held as security for the contract. 

Blitz has held back a payment to the PCB for the 2020 PSL season, believing this is tied to completion of the final game.

The ESPNcricinfo said that, following this action, the PCB activated an insurance guarantee from Blitz, held as security for the contract, of PKR1bn ($6m). This act has led Blitz to take out a stay order in the civil courts in Lahore.

Blitz said: “Our dispute with the PCB is on issue of completion of PSL 2020 tournament. PCB has announced/declared since March 17 that four matches including semi-finals and final shall be held later in year 2020 and is postponed until then.

“According to our agreements with PCB, it is stated clearly – we are to pay the rights fees only after the last match of the PSL 2020 tournament is held and declared. Since last match of the PSL 2020 has not been held and/or declared by PCB therefore the rights fee is not due and payable under the agreements.

“Blitz was constrained to seek legal remedy through courts, refraining encashment of guarantee since the payment was not due until the last match of PSL 2020 was declared by PCB. Blitz, in the last five years of its relationship with PCB has honoured all its obligations in accordance with the agreements. However in this instance, Blitz, in view of PCB’s unjustified demand, had no other option but to approach courts for relief.”

The 2020 PSL season was suspended just before the knockout stages due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, a Pakistan Super League Governing Council meeting outlined a preference for staging the remaining four matches in November, but acknowledged there were a “number of moving pieces” due to the pandemic. This year’s PSL is the first to be staged entirely in Pakistan, with the previous four editions mostly held outside the country owing to security concerns.