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Lahore court grants PTV Sports relief after PCB suspends broadcast agreement

A Lahore civil court has granted relief to PTV Sports after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) abruptly suspended an agreement with the state-run TV network that granted PTV exclusive rights to broadcast matches in Pakistan. 

However, a civil court in Lahore barred the PCB  from granting broadcast rights to any private channel when PTV Sports filed a writ petition against the Board. The court issued a notice to the PCB over the alleged violation of the agreement with PTV Sports.

A private channel recently began the broadcast of matches in Pakistan. The PTV also sought Rs2 billion in damages from the PCB. Civil Judge Talat Mahmood heard Pakistan Television Corporation’s petition that the PCB violated the agreement which required it to grant exclusive rights to PTV for broadcasting cricket matches in Pakistan till 2023.

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

The PTV Sports management had requested the court to force the PCB to follow the agreement and stop it from signing a new contract with other channels by any means. The court ordered the PCB against granting broadcast rights to any other channel than PTV.

Moreover, the court also issued notices to the PCB over PTV’s claim that it suffered damages worth Rs2 billion due to the violation. The court asked the PCB to submit a reply to the claim by December 6. 

The PCB had signed a three-year broadcast deal in 2020 with PTV, as well as an agreement with I-Media Communications Services, to ensure the PCB’s broadcast content was not redistributed illegally by cable operators. The official signing of the deal had taken place in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the PCB’s patron-in-chief.

The PCB had opened new tender inviting bids for new media rights for the upcoming series against West Indies and Australia. That process will have to be put on hold for now until the dispute is sorted out.

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