Lahore court grants relief to PTV after PCB suspended agreement for exclusive transmission rights

Nov 26, 2021: A civil court in Lahore has granted relief to PTV Sports after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) abruptly suspended an agreement with the state-run TV network, which allowed PTV to have exclusive rights for matches in Pakistan.

Earlier, under an agreement, special broadcast rights were granted to PTV Sports. However, a Lahore civil court barred the PCB from granting broadcasting rights to any private channel when PTV Sports filed a writ petition against the board. The court issued notice to the PCB for alleged breach of contract with PTV Sports.

A private channel has recently started broadcasting matches in Pakistan. PTV also demanded Rs 2 billion in damages from the PCB.

Civil Judge Talat Mahmood heard the Pakistan Television Corporation’s plea that the PCB had violated the agreement that required PTV to be given exclusive rights to broadcast cricket matches in Pakistan by 2023.

The PCB had suspended the agreement with PTV on November 5 without any notice. PTV Sport said that the suspension of broadcasting rights by the PCB was a violation of the agreement.

The PTV Sports administration had requested the court to compel the PCB to abide by the agreement and prevent it from signing any new agreement with other channels in any way. The court directed the PCB against granting broadcasting rights to any channel other than PTV.

In addition, the court issued notice to the PCB on PTV’s claim that it had incurred a loss of Rs 2 billion due to the violation.

The court asked the PCB to file a reply to the claim by December 6. The PCB signed a three-year broadcasting agreement with PTV in 2020, as well as an agreement with i-Media Communications Services to ensure that the PCB’s broadcast content is not distributed through other channels.

The agreement was formally signed in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the patron saint of the PCB.

The PCB had opened a new tender to invite bids for new media rights for the upcoming series against the West Indies and Australia. This process will have to be stopped until the dispute is resolved.

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