LAHORE: As the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is about to get underway in the UAE with a bang on February 14, the brand value of this franchise Twenty20 Cricket League rests as US$230 million or Rs 32.258 billion, which thus means that it is 27.39 times smaller than the Indian Premier League (IPL) whose brand value has been calculated at US$6.3 billion by Messrs Duff & Phelps, the New York-based valuation, corporate finance advisors.

It was the IPL that had actually helped the bug of T20 cricket franchises spread across the globe in 2008 by garnering mercurial success from the very outset, contributing Indian Rs11.5 billion or US$182 million to the GDP of the Indian economy in 2015 alone—hence compelling many other cricketing boards across the globe to model their franchise-based T20 leagues on the pattern of what India had done to make IPL the most-attended cricket league in the world and the Sixth by average attendance among all international sports leagues in 2014.

Coming to the PSL, its brand value was calculated at the end of the PSL Third Edition by the “Lagardere Sports,” a renowned Paris-based media conglomerate, and by the New York-based “Nielsen Sports,”a premier global provider of analytics, data and insights within the sports industry.

The figure of US$230 million, as being the brand value of PSL, was also announced on July 3, 2018 by the-then Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief, Najam Sethi, at Lahore—visibly enthralled over the fact that PSL and its official sponsors had succeeded in generating 38 percent higher value in 2018 than the previous season.

However, a renowned American media house “Bloomberg” had stated that the market value of PSL in 2017 was up to US$300 million or Rs 42 billion. The “Bloomberg” had quoted Arif Habib, an eminent stock broker at the Karachi Stock Exchange in this context.

It is imperative to note that the three-year PSL broadcasting rights have already been sold in December 2018 in a bid of US$36 million, which is 358 percent greater amounts than before. On July 17, 2018, the PCB Board of Governors, led by Najam Sethi, had approved the annual 2018-19 budget of this national Cricketing body.

The PCB had generated a total income target of Rs 6.4 billion against expenditures of Rs 5.7 billion (without PSL). The budgeted income for 2018-19 was thus 133 percent more than previous year’s income of Rs 2.79 billion.

Founded in Lahore on September 9, 2015 with five teams, the PSL had yielded a profit of US$2.6 million during its inaugural season. The incumbent PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani should thus have a smooth sailing as the Cricketing body under his control is slowly but surely recovering after having lost millions of dollars in revenues since March 3, 2009, when international Cricket had bid adieu to the Pakistani stadiums following a terrorist attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore.

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