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Pakistan news – Lahore court stays PCB decision to suspend broadcast deal with PTV

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The PCB had terminated its cable-distribution deal and suspended the broadcasting deal with PTV Sports, which was expected to earn them US$ 200 million over three years

A sessions court in Lahore has issued a stay order to prevent the PCB from suspending its deal with the state-owned broadcaster PTV.
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 is not redistributed illegally by cable operators. The official signing of the deal had taken place in the presence of Imran Khan, the Pakistan prime minister who is also the PCB’s patron-in-chief.

But last week the PCB terminated its cable-distribution deal and suspended the broadcasting deal with PTV Sports, deals from which, on signing them, the PCB said were expected to fetch them US$ 200 million over three years. The PCB also opened a new tender inviting bids for new media rights for home internationals 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.

At heart is the nature of the arrangement. The deal allowed PTV to broadcast all Pakistan’s home bilateral commitments as well as all domestic cricket, though the PCB held on to the production rights. The deal with I-Media Communications Services was meant to ensure that the distribution of cricket content would only be done through licensed cable operators, and the value of the content would be protected against potential illegal distribution.

The expected earnings from this deal would come from advertising revenue and also, for the first time in Pakistan, distribution revenue from the cable operators – the equivalent of revenues that broadcasters make from subscriptions – through I-Media. That revenue is important in countries such as England, Australia and, increasingly, India but has been non-existent in Pakistan due to the nature of the industry.

It is believed to be on the basis of non-compliance on payments from the I-Media contract that the PCB has gone to court. In its plea before judge Talat Mahmood, PTV said that it “had been honouring” the terms of the deal at every stage. PCB, however, had suspended the deal with both parties because of the supposed non-compliance when it came to implementing the Digital Pakistan policy (one part of which is regulating the illegal cable operator business).

PTV also claim that PCB had never addressed any grievances to PTV’s managing director, as the contract stipulated – ESPNcricinfo understands that PCB wrote directly to the Information Minister – who oversees the state-owned PTV – when required.

The broadcast deal was signed in the face of a shrinking broadcast market, more so after the Covid-19 pandemic. It ended a long-running broadcast relationship with Ten Sports. International rights for PCB’s home series were sold separately to various channels around the world.

Pakistan has few local sports broadcasters to choose from though recently, the ARY Group has launched an HD sports channel called A-Sports, which covered the T20 World Cup and is presently broadcasting the Abu Dhabi T10 league. PTV, however, broadcasts its content on standard definition, which the PCB wants to change to HD.

Neither PTV or PCB chose to speak on the matter when contacted.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent



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WI vs Eng, 2022 – Jason Roy returns to action with 36-ball hundred ahead of West Indies T20Is

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England signalled his fitness by smashing 115 off 47 in a warm-up match ahead of the T20I series against West Indies

England 231 for 4 (Roy 115, Vince 40*) beat Barbados Cricket Association President’s XI 137 for 11 (Springer 36, Mills 3-25) by 94 runs

Jason Roy marked his return to fitness by hitting a 36-ball hundred – and 115 off 47 overall – in England’s warm-up match against a BCA President’s XI at Kensington Oval.
Roy has not played any cricket since tearing his left calf muscle during England’s final Super 12s game of the T20 World Cup against South Africa in November when he collapsed in pain after running a single and was carried off the pitch.

But his onslaught, which contained nine fours and ten sixes, signalled his fitness ahead of the five-match T20I series that starts on Saturday and will be staged in Barbados in its entirety.



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Recent Match Report – ENG Women vs AUS Women 1st T20I 2021/22

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Meg Lanning said while her side had undergone some enforced changes, she was confident in their make-up

Toss Australia chose to bowl vs England

Australia opted to field in the first T20I against England in Adelaide, the opening match of the 2022 Women’s Ashes.

Grace Harris has been recalled to cover for Mooney’s absence and is listed in the middle order, while legspinner Alana King will make her debut for the home side, who are without the injured Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux.
Maia Bouchier will play just her third T20I for England after she impressed during the warm-ups. Part of England’s senior Ashes squad, she top-scored with 27 for England A in the second T20 warm-up, both of which were won by the A side.

Lanning, the Australia captain, said while her side had undergone some enforced changes, she was confident in their make-up.

“It’s a belter of a wicket, it always is at Adelaide Oval,” Lanning told the host broadcaster. “We feel like we’ve got a different look but hopefully we’ve got all bases covered.”

Heather Knight said she would have also opted to bowl, had she won the toss.

Making up the multi-format series, three T20Is in Adelaide will be followed by a Test in Canberra, then three ODIs – the first in Canberra and two in Melbourne. Two points will be awarded for victory in each of the limited-overs matches, with the Test worth four points for the win.

Australia: 1 Alyssa Healy (wk), 2 Meg Lanning (capt), 3 Tahlia McGrath, 4 Rachael Haynes, 5 Ashleigh Gardner, 6 Grace Harris, 7 Nicola Carey, 8 Jess Jonassen, 9 Alana King, 10 Tayla Vlaeminck, 11 Megan Schutt

England: 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Danni Wyatt, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Amy Jones, 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Maia Bouchier, 8 Katherine Brunt, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Sarah Glenn, 11 Freya Davies

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Australia top ICC Test rankings after Ashes win, India slip to third place

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South Africa move up a spot to fifth place after beating India; New Zealand retain second spot

Australia have overtaken India and New Zealand to reclaim the No. 1 ICC Test rankings spot after their 4-0 Ashes win at home, pushing India down to third spot. South Africa’s 2-1 win over India at home took them one spot up to fifth place, whereas New Zealand retained their second position.

New Zealand, the inaugural WTC winners, remained in second place after their 1-1 drawn series at home against Bangladesh, which included the hosts’ first ever loss to Bangladesh at home across formats.

Pakistan went down one spot to sixth place, whereas Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland retained their positions.



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