Carlton Sports swells Sri Lankan cricket coverage

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 27-05-2012

Sri Lanka's Carlton Sports Network (CSN) has acquired the terrestrial broadcast rights for international cricket matches played on home soil for three years starting 2012.

The deal has reportedly cost the new sports broadcaster SLR 125 million, and further boosts its cricket portfolio after also acquiring the rights to the Sri Lankan Premier League twenty20 tournament.

Public broadcaster Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) previously broadcast domestic international cricket matches on terrestrial television, but inexplicably did not bid for the tender issued in January by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), according to local reports.

There is some controversy over proceedings, as SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga is also the chief executive of CSN – which reportedly is promoted by the family of the country's president.

India's Taj Television holds the satellite broadcast rights for Sri Lankan international cricket until March 2013.

Under a new law passed in 2011, all local television and radio broadcast rights for Sri Lankan cricket matches must be awarded to either state media or a dedicated sports channel.