Jan 10, 2018

SLBC ignored when awarding cricket broadcasting rights Featured

Sri Lanka Cricket has been disregarding the state run-SLBC when awarding broadcasting rights for the national team’s matches, senior players allege.

The last two series were broadcast by Siyatha and Rasa radios, with the latter to get the rights for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh too.

The result is that their limited and weak transmissions prevent the commentaries from reaching the cricket lovers.

Furthermore, the commentaries have become monotonous and uninteresting as the commentators being used are the henchmen of SLC.

Instead of telling the listeners about the ongoing match, they spent most the time promoting the cricket administrators.

Cabinet paper disregarded

The SLBC is losing the broadcasting rights of the matches despite the existence of a cabinet paper that prioritizes state-run broadcasters when awarding the broadcasting rights.

Also, a person, who had been removed from the SLBC’s sports division due to fraud and irregularities, is working against his former workplace while acting as the SLC chairman’s personal commentator.

Among other charges, he is accused of using a fake birth certificate and running a people smuggling racket.

Web radio at massive cost

For this man’s continuation at SLC, a web radio has been started at a massive cost, but he gives commentaries to private radio stations.

Knowing all these, the SLBC has offered to pay Rs. 700,000 for the broadcasting rights, but this man had got it rejected and given it to a lesser known private station.

When Nishantha Ranatunga was the SLC secretary and CSN CEO, he gave the broadcasting rights only to CSN, not to state-run channels.

A few months ago, a senior commentator was recruited as the head of the web radio for a salary of around Rs. 300,000.

Jerome Jayaratne and Ravin Wickremaratne are the SLC officials responsible for the web radio.

Meanwhile, the weekend matches of the ongoing premier league are telecast via Dialog TV, although their official coverage has been handed over at SLC’s expense to a private company run by a former CSN employee, who is a close relative of Wickremaratne.

The SLC president looks the other way while the broadcasting rights are given in breach of cabinet orders and the tender procedures.

-By a special correspondent-