The Sri Lankan cricket team has suffered a serious setback recently and many TV channels have not come forward to claim the rights to broadcast cricket matches. In the end, the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation had to lay down its head every day.
Despite the never-ending losses, the Rupavahini Corporation came forward spending money over a losing horse for the sake of sports fans. In some cases, the Rupavahini authorities were scolded by sports fans for not receiving broadcasting rights for certain tournaments. Public platforms like Facebook belonging to Rupavahini Corporation those days were filled with endless nasty words and wailing of sports fans.
It is commendable that the Rupavahini authorities were able to broadcast the matches at the last minute.
Not very ago, TV channels used to battle against each other to get the broadcasting rights of cricket matches, during which broadcasting rights were given through a tender board. Some channels even took unethical approaches by offering money to acquire broadcasting rights as it could be profitable altogether.
However, with the chain of losses, channels of which sole purpose was profit began to withdraw themselves from obtaining the broadcasting rights and Channel Eye of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation took the burden. This was why the broadcasting rights were given without calling tenders in the recent past. No channels other than the Rupavahini Corporation came forward.
The Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation officials were ready to broadcast the Sri Lanka-Australia 20/20 series starting tomorrow (27).
The Rupavahini Corporation has been selected without calling for any tenders and the authorities of SLC and Rupavahini have agreed to do so for US $ 23,000. Rupavahini Sports Unit authorities have even prepared pre-publicity footage for the broadcast of the match and were to sign contracts for commercials broadcast during the match.
Rupavahini authorities who were waiting for the e-mail message with the final agreement on broadcasting rights suddenly see a breaking news published on Maharaja-owned Sirasa TV channel.
It said that Sirasa TV was given the broadcasting rights of the Sri Lanka-Australia series!
Although there was no one else to claim the broadcasting rights amidst losses, Sri Lanka's victory over matches with Pakistan had gained some competition among the channels to reclaim the broadcasting rights. It is a good improvement. However, giving away the broadcasting rights to a private channel behind closed doors amidst agreement with the Rupavahini Corporation is a conduct the SLC can never be approved for.
How morally justifiable it is to sell out the broadcasting rights to some tycoon-backed television channel when telecast during the hardest of times for the SLC was done by the Rupavahini Corporation for the sake of sports fans?
Cricket fans can imagine how much money a tycoon-backed private channel put into the pockets of the SLC, which is still in the midst of some of the most corrupt institutions in the country.