Social obligation, not money propels Sri Lanka TV channel to broadcast T20 World Cup | Sunday Observer

Social obligation, not money propels Sri Lanka TV channel to broadcast T20 World Cup

16 October, 2022

A television channel, one of the oldest in the island even before most of the country’s current crop of T20 World Cup cricketers were born, has bagged a kill with plenty to brag about that will put them in the top shelf of sports coverage for the next four weeks when it telecasts the live action from Australia as the official broadcaster.

The channel, Sirasa TV, usually associated with political bulletins and occasional stand-offs will be giving top priority like no other electronic media has done before commencing today when the T20 World Cup World unfurls in Australia where Sri Lanka will herald the start with a qualifying round match against Namibia.

“Economics is not the only thing that drives the country. There are also social responsibilities and we did not want to be lagging behind as the Sri Lanka team creates a kind of social frenzy among the people,” said Sunil Kanojia the Chief Executive and Group Director of Maharaja Group.

Sirasa TV made the announcement to a packed specially invited audience after giving journalists a few hours to gear up for the occasion that was also graced by former World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, now the foremost sports monitor in the country as head of the policy-making National Sports Council.

Still having the charisma to turn heads and exchange pleasantries with media personnel of his time, Ranatunga had a ring-side hearing of comments made by officials at the head table who recalled the part played by the television company’s late architect and corporate magnate Rajendran Rajamahendran who was a promoter and live-wire in Sri Lanka’s pre-Test era in the 1970s and early ‘80s.

But officials declined to disclose the investment Sirasa pumped in to bid and win the broadcast rights or how much revenue they could earn through heavy advertising expected in what has now become cricket’s topmost showpiece.

“In these tough times we have to meet the expectations of the people and telecasting the T20 World Cup is how we can pay tribute to our team,” said Cheevan Daniel the Group Director of MTV Channel that is owned by Maharaja Group that also takes in Sirasa TV under its umbrella.