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Sri Lanka Cricket gives local TV rights to Carlton Sports
23 May, 2012 09:41:25
May 23, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Cricket has offered the local television rights to the new Carlton Sports Network for a three-year period, after the sports channel emerged the sole bidder, a news report said Wednesday.
Carlton Sports Network (CSN) was formed last February and its chief executive, Nishantha Ranatunga is also the present secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Cricket board chief Upali Dharmadasa said the governing body’s sponsorship committee decided to give CSN the rights from 2012-2015, the Colombo-based Daily Mirror newspaper said.

Last month, SLC’s executive committee also approved CSN’s 125 million rupee bid for three-years, the paper said.

Ranatunga’s conflict of interest with the governing body and the sports channel, was raised by Sri Lanka Parliament’s Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) which probed the cash-strapped cricket board last year.

“The dissatisfaction of the Committee was expressed on offering the tender to an organisation in which the Secretary of the Cricket Board was functioning as the CEO,” said COPE in a report tabled in parliament last year.

Carlton Sports also benefits from a government directive last July, which mandated local television and radio broadcast rights for cricket matches to be awarded to only state media or dedicated sports channels.

CSN was the only dedicated sports media channel at the time the law came into effect, the report said.

Carlton Sports first won the local TV rights for Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka in June last year.

State-run TV broadcaster, Rupavahini, did not bid for the local rights. The television giant earned 556 million rupees from the 2011 cricket World Cup, having spent only 143 million rupees to win the rights, the paper added.

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