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Thursday December 08, 2022

If violation of law found: PTV-ARY venture for PSL broadcasting rights to be annulled, says LHC

By News Desk
January 20, 2022
If violation of law found: PTV-ARY venture for PSL broadcasting rights to be annulled, says LHC

LAHORE: Justice Shahid Waheed of the Lahore High Court observed on Wednesday the PTV-ARY Joint Venture for Pakistan Super League (PSL) broadcasting rights would be annulled if violation of law was found in it.

He added that in case the PSL was conducted and the verdict came in the petitioner’s favour, the matter would be referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The court was hearing the Geo Super’s petition against PTV-ARY Joint Venture for Pakistan Super League (PSL) broadcasting rights.

Geo Super's counsel Behzad Haider maintained that bidding never took place for the PSL joint venture. He said PTV and ARY collaboration, after PCB’s advertisement for expression of interest (EoI), was for the ICC broadcasting rights, not the PSL. He said serious violation of the PPRA rules were found in the PTV-ARY joint venture. Under the PPRA Rule 12 (two), the EoI had to be advertised in at least two newspapers, but the advertisement appeared only in one English newspaper.

He said that after the EoI advertisement, Group M, ARY and PTV collaborated on September 16, adding response to August 10 advertisement came on August 24 whereas both dates should be spaced by at least 15 days under Rule 13 (two).

He said the PPRA Rule 35 was also flouted in this joint venture. ARY sports channel got the licence on September 14, adding that it was not noted during bidding on September 8 whether ARY’s sports channel had a licence or not. Behzad Haider asked that if the joint venture for PSL had actualised on September 16, then why, for agreement with Blitz company, PTV’s Dr Nauman Ijaz messaged that the final go from the information ministry was awaited.

He said PTV, ARY and Group M entered into the joint venture as a result of August 10 advertisement. He asked that if the joint venture was for PSL, then why Group M was not part of the final agreement.

The court adjourned the hearing to January 24 when Behzad Haider concluded his arguments. Behzad Haider, however, pointed out that in case of an adjournment on January 24, the defendant would contend that PSL was about to start. At this, Justice Shahid Waheed said if Geo Super's counsel proved his case, the court would annul the agreement, adding that if PSL was held, and the verdict came later in petitioner’s favour, the court would send the case to NAB.

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