PCB under fire over Pakistan Super League rights deals

The Pakistan Cricket Board is being urged to launch a new tender process for the broadcast rights to its new Pakistan Super League competition after legal action was launched in the Lahore High Court.

The PCB this month awarded media rights for its PSL to the country’s public-service broadcaster PTV and pay-television broadcaster Ten Sports, with Tech Front acquiring global rights to the new Twenty20 franchise competition.

The deals are for three years, commencing from the inaugural edition of the PSL, which will be held in Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates from February 4-24 next year.

However, Pakistani newspaper the Express Tribune said advocate Shahzada Mazhar, counsel for an unnamed petitioner, submitted to the High Court that the PCB had not followed the terms and conditions issued by the ministry of sports in selling the broadcasting rights for the league.

Mazhar said that instead of selecting the broadcasters through a transparent bidding process the PCB had announced the selection of the rights-holders through a press statement. Mazhar added that the process was also in violation of an earlier tender document published by the PCB in leading Pakistani newspapers.

Mazhar has requested the court to force the PCB to initiate a new tender process.

PTV and Ten Sports are existing rights partners of the PCB. In April, the board awarded rights to the two broadcasters under a five-year deal running from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

The inaugural PSL player draft concluded in Lahore yesterday (Tuesday). Along with Pakistan’s leading stars, top overseas players such as Chris Gayle (pictured), Shane Watson, Kevin Pietersen and Kumar Sangakkara have been drafted.