Lahore High Court has stopped the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTC) from finalising a deal with Ten Sports for sub-licensing rights to telecast ICC Cricket events from 2012 to 2015.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued the order on a petition filed by Independent Media Group SMC (Pvt) Ltd seeking telecast rights for its channel Geo Super.
Justice Bandial ordered the petitioner to deposit the required amount in the bank, submit suitable guarantee to the court and then approach the PTC for rights. The court adjourned further proceedings till December 02.
The petitioner submitted that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had granted the rights to telecast cricket events to ESPN which had then granted such rights on a four years basis to different entities.
This year after the expiry of petitioner’s earlier four year license, ESPN invited bids for the auction of rights to broadcast ICC cricket events for the next four years in Pakistan including the rights to broadcast next ICC World Cup 2015, the petitioner said.
The Pakistan Television Corporation made its bid for $30 million. It entered into an arrangement with Ten Sports, an Indian TV channel to sub-license such rights to its joint venture partner.
The petitioner said that on October 27, 2011 they wrote a letter to Pakistan Television Corporation and offered to form a joint venture with PTV for ICC events on the same terms and conditions which were being offered by ten Sports but PTV refused.
The petitioner submitted that if the PTC observed the relevant rules in selling the rights then the petitioner has all the qualifications to acquire such rights.
He said depriving them of these rights would be a violation of their fundamental rights.
He prayed the court to restrain the PTC from sub-licensing the ICC 2012-15 rights to Ten Sports.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2011.