MUMBAI/DUBAI: The upward trajectory of T20 cricket in India and Pakistan appears to have stalled, as PSL franchises complain of losing money and reports suggest that Star India has yet to sell a significant proportion of its advertising inventory for IPL 2018.

The Pakistan Super League (PSL), currently taking place in Dubai, is not the behemoth that the India Premier League (IPL) has become but it is one of the biggest brands to emerge from that country in recent years.

Franchise owners, however, are unhappy with the strategy of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and its marketing partner, which they believe has resulted in potential sponsors being lured away by the promise of a better deal.

“It [PCB] will have to treat the franchises as major stakeholders but unfortunately some of their policies are having adverse effects on the finances of the franchises,” one franchise owner told The News.

With the title sponsorship up for renewal at the end of this season, the PCB is reported to be looking to get three times as much as before in any new deal – and “the franchise owners want to be in the loop when the PSL rights are sold”, a source explained.

Meanwhile, the IPL’s new broadcast partner Star India is reported to be falling well short of its targets for the sale of advertising inventory ahead of the competition’s April start.

A source within the company told the Economic Times that “it [ad sales] has not gone the way we had hoped” and described a “Herculean” task ahead to add another Rs 1,200 crore in sales to the Rs 800 crore already booked.

Earlier the same publication reported that advertisers were finding the rates being charged were too high, hence their reluctance to commit.

Sourced from The News, Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff