The Bangladeshi Bengali-language sports-oriented channel, T-Sports has secured the broadcast rights for the remainder of the Bangladesh tour of West Indies, which begins with the St Lucia Test on June 24.
Ishtiaque Sadeque, the channel’s CEO, acknowledged the news for Bangladesh fans. Subsequently, the International Cricket Council (ICC) also confirmed to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) that the rest of the West Indies-Bangladesh series will be featured free of charge on ICC TV.
Following a TV blackout of the first Test in Antigua, where none of the Bangladeshi networks picked up the West Indies tour, the current revelations come as a relief to Bangladesh fans. This was the first time since 2001 that a Test match containing Bangladesh was not aired on national television.
In the beginning, discussions between both the rights holders, Total Sports Management (TSM), and Bangladesh’s television networks had failed. The Antigua Test was then initially only accessible for a subscription fee on the ICC streaming channel before the BCB aired the match on the third and fourth day on their Facebook and YouTube networks exclusively for Bangladeshi viewers.
It had reached this stage after T-Sports or Gazi TV, the two channels that have been covering Bangladesh’s international games in recent years were unable to reach an agreement with TSM. Both channels have supposedly purchased the BCB’s broadcasting rights for 2021-23 from Ban Tech, who acquired them from the board last year for $19.07 million.
A TV power outage had always been a possibility since earlier this year when Bangladesh broadcast rights were only acquired a week before the beginning of the New Zealand-Bangladesh Test series in January. Given the lack of interest, the Bangladesh-Australia T20I series was not covered in Australia last year. The last time a Bangladesh Test was not aired on television was during the Asian Test Championship in 2001.
Following the second Test in St Lucia, Bangladesh will face the West Indies in three T20Is on July 2, 3, and 7 respectively as well as three ODIs on July 10, 13, and 16 respectively.