Bangladesh-Ireland three-match One-Day International series will commence today (Tuesday) in Chelmsford, England. The match will begin at 3:45pm Bangladesh Standard Time.
The series, however, was at risk of a broadcast blackout in Bangladesh as no Bangladeshi broadcaster is televising the series.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) dispelled those fears a bit on Monday, when it announced that fans in Bangladesh can watch all three ODIs on the ICC website (icc.tv).
The spectators won’t have to pay a dime to watch the matches. All they have to do is make an account on the website and then enjoy the action live as it happens.
This is the second time Bangladesh cricket fans have no other option than the ICC website to see their national team in action. In June last year, the first Test of Bangladesh’s West Indies tour was also streamed on the ICC website. But on that occasion, fans had to pay a nominal fee to see the stream.
Total Sports Management (TSM) had bought the rights of the Bangladesh-Ireland series. But they have so far failed to sell the broadcast rights to any Bangladeshi channel.
TSM chief executive Moinul Haque Chowdhury told Prothom Alo, “No Bangladeshi television channel or streaming site has so far shown any interest to broadcast the matches.”
“We had sent propositions to multiple television channels who usually broadcast matches in Bangladesh. We had also sent an email to BTV to broadcast the matches. We didn’t get a positive response from anywhere.”
T Sports chief executive officer Ishtiaque Sadeque told Prothom Alo that they had received a proposition from TSM, but rejected it as they didn’t find it financially profitable, “The money they asked for to show the matches, was not financially feasible for us. In the current market, we won’t get that amount of money from the sponsors. That’s why, even though we wanted to, it’s not possible for us to broadcast the matches.”
When asked if TSM was asking for an exuberant amount of money for the broadcast rights, Ishitiaque said, “They didn’t demand a lot more than usual. They asked for 10-15 per cent more than other away series.”
BCB chief executive Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, who is in London for the series, told Prothom Alo that the board had asked Cricket Ireland to come up with a way for the fans in Bangladesh to see the matches. After their request, the Irish cricket body approached the ICC and arranged free online streaming of the matches in Bangladesh through the ICC website.