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LAHORE: The HBL-PSL-7 which culminated with mega final between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultan on Sunday witnessed about 200-percent increase in sponsorships and broadcasting rights, as this year more revenue was generated as compared to previous events.

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) retained the title of main sponsor until 2025, a deal of around Rs3.5 billion. PSL has been promoting platinum, gold, and silver sponsorships since the first edition of the tournament. This year, sponsorship categories changed to brand partnership rights divided into two categories.

TransGroup International (TGI), which submitted the highest bid in a public tender process, won the bid for a four-year term of brand partnership rights till 2025.

A PCB official said the new sponsorship format raised the league’s value, with enormous investment amounts from sponsors.

The highest bid for sponsorship was submitted by TGI. It is the same company that was previously accused by franchise owners of luring away sponsors of individual franchises during the third season.

The massive increase in sponsorship for the most recent tournament was not just a result of new brand partnership criteria, but also about broadcasting and live-streaming rights. The consortium of ARY and PTV submitted the highest bid for an aggregated fee of around Rs4.35 billion, which is 50 percent more than the last cycle. They also secured home TV broadcast rights for two years.

Livestreaming rights were sold to Daraz, which submitted the highest bid for PSL seven and eight. Their bid amount was 175 percent higher than bids for live-streaming rights during the previous two tournaments.

According to Daraz, during the first 12-days of the tournament in Karachi, viewership of PSL surpassed 200 million views. This means there were around 16 million views per day.

The PCB also made TikTok the official entertainment partner and sponsor of the tournament’s anthem. TikTok spread PSL-related content to its billions of users around the world. PCB even released the anthem first on TikTok and the opening ceremony featuring Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Cricket franchise owners also believe this partnership with TikTok helped the league reach a larger audience. The quality of cricket, involvement of young players and format of the tournaments has helped make PSL one of the most competitive T20 crickets leagues in the world, even though other leagues have been around for longer.

The PSL has led to return of international cricket to Pakistan and Australian team has arrived Pakistan after 23 years for a cricket series. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain in a video message said, “Today is the day of complete revival of international cricket in Pakistan. Australian cricket team has arrived in Pakistan after 23 years.” He said it’s for the first time that complete Pakistan Super League was held in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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