Former Sri Lankan cricket broadcaster CSN lined up for return
Carlton Sports Network, the Sri Lankan television that was previously a major broadcaster of cricket in the country, is set to return to the airwaves after a five-year absence.
CSN launched in 2011 but shut down in 2015 after the country’s government cancelled its licence.
The channel held rights to the matches of the Sri Lankan cricket team from 2012 to 2015, and sought to retain them after that only for the contract to revert to state broadcaster Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.
CSN subsequently lost its licence but last week the government withdrew its objections to the functioning of the channel after the company filed a writ application before the Sri Lankan appeals court against the order issued by the former administration.
Rohan Welivita, a former director of the company, told the EconomyNext website that work “has begun to restart the channel as soon as possible,” adding that “the wheels are in motion.”
It is reported that CSN could look to strengthen its presence by taking on the transmission infrastructure of SLRC’s loss-making Channel Eye, and enter into a profit-sharing deal with the state broadcaster.
Its return could also reinvigorate the contest for media rights to Sri Lanka cricket matches, which have attracted limited interest to date.
Sri Lanka Cricket recently postponed commercial tenders for the sixth time in three months amid uncertainty over whether a lucrative home series against India will go ahead given the coronavirus pandemic.
The media rights include Sri Lanka home matches in the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Programme between 2020 and 2023.
Rights were previously held by Indian broadcasting group Sony Pictures Networks in a seven-year rights deal that expired in March.