National TV-ARY’s ‘illegal’ partnership: Defence damaged by media agency’s evidence and petition

Special Correspondent
Friday, Jan 14, 2022

LAHORE: Documents have revealed that the state broadcaster had assured the sports management firm in writing that for acquiring PSL broadcast rights, it would form a joint venture with a private party, and it would be selected through a transparent bidding process giving everyone an equal chance.

These documents were submitted by the firm in the court along with its writ petition challenging ARY’s consortium with the state broadcaster to acquire broadcasting rights for the PSL VII and PSL VIII.

The documents also mentioned that the state broadcaster was waiting for instruction from the information minister in this regard.

The sports management firm has maintained that a few days after receiving the said communication from the PTV management, it got to know from media reports that PTV had secretly formed a joint-venture with ARY through private arrangements.

The petitioner company has also asserted that this illegal act was done just to oblige and financially benefit ARY.

It is worth mentioning that the state broadcaster’s venture with privately owned ARY was came to public knowledge only at the announcement of winners of PSL VII and PSL VIII broadcasting rights.

Meanwhile, Geo News has reported that there were electronic messages and communication by Nauman Niaz, who is director sports and syndication for state broadcasters, with the grieved firm discussing various options to form joint venture to get broadcast rights for Pakistan Super League. The communications were made in mid of December 2021.

It has been reported that the fact that Dr Nauman Niaz was discussing possibilities of a joint venture with different parties to buy PSL broadcast rights rejects the claim that the venture with ARY to acquire PSL rights was formed following the EOI advertisement in August. Question arises if state broadcaster’s venture with ARY for PSL broadcast rights was formed, as claimed, following the EOI advertisement published in August then why would Dr Niaz discuss options for same purpose with other companies in December.