a year ago

Why is Bangladesh vs West Indies Test series not broadcasted in Bangladesh?

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Today marks 22 years of Bangladesh securing Test status. While everything has changed for Bangladesh cricket, clearly for the betterment compared to old times, an issue is in the discussion while Bangladesh are playing a 2-match Test series in West Indies.

September 2001, less than 1.5 years of Bangladesh’s Test status, when none of the current players even debuted. That year, the games of the Asian Test Championship were not broadcasted in Bangladesh.

Decades after that, no Bangladeshi channel or platform is broadcasting the Test matches between Bangladesh and West Indies. It is shameful, to say the least.

Back in 2001, TV and Radio were the only two mediums for broadcasting games. Cable TV was not widely available. The transmission of signals was not that good. There were only 4 TV channels available in total, not to mention none of them was for sports.

Currently, Bangladesh has 37 channels available, including a dedicated sports channel. There are OTT platforms too. Broadcasting has never been easier. 

Coupled with that comes the fact that Bangladesh is adamant to brand itself as a digital country in the global picture. So it has been difficult for the fans to digest the fact that they are being deprived of watching the games live on any platform.

The broadcast right of the series was bought by the Total Sports Marketing( TSM) group from WCB. However, no TV channels in Bangladesh could reach an agreement with them for business conflicts, thus, ensuring an unwanted situation.

There are plenty of worrying signs here which go unresolved as of now. TSM also possess the broadcast rights for Afghanistan, Ireland and Netherlands cricket matches. As a result, Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe series was broadcasted on T Sports.

Also, the ongoing series between England and Netherlands is being broadcasted by T Sports YouTube channel. Apart from that, games of Ireland and Afghanistan are often broadcasted on either T Sports or RabbitholeBD. 

Does it imply that the channels are paying for those series but not for the series of Bangladesh? 

When it comes to cricket, Bangladesh is the most marketable country right after India. Even in this series, when it is being broadcasted nowhere in Bangladesh, fans are watching the match somehow despite all the struggles.

So any theories like not enough opportunity for marketing won’t find ground here. However, TSM is reportedly giving some absurd conditions to the channels. 

BCB media committee chairman Tanvir Ahmed Titu claimed that the BCB does not know anything about this. They are trying to show the series on any online platform of BCB.

This raises a serious question, why wouldn’t they keep track of what is happening? And why did they not act earlier to solve the issue? 

Bangladesh are supposed to visit Zimbabwe after the Windies tour. The rights for the Zimbabwe series is also bought by the same company, TSM. So if the issues are not solved, then it’s not good news for Bangladesh fans.

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