Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has slammed the government’s stance on not broadcasting the England-Pakistan series in Pakistan. Sethi said if the series is not televised in Pakistan, it will not be because of the political rift with India, rather the PTV is not willing to pay what the broadcasters are demanding to telecast the series in Pakistan. Pakistan is set to play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is in India but the series is unlikely to be televised in Pakistan as an Indian firm (SONY TV) holds the broadcasting rights and Pakistan government has denied signing an agreement with them stating that relations with India will only improve after the Indian government normalize life in Kashmir, referring to the revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is all drama being staged in order to gain political mileage by using the name of Kashmir. The fact is that the government is using pressure tactics while seeking to reduce the money being demanded by the broadcaster [for the England series], which is an Indian company,” Sethi said while talking to Dawn after Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday announced that the Federal Cabinet had decided not to telecast the England matches because an Indian broadcaster holds the rights of the series.
“After the [broadcast] deal is finalised the PTV will make an agreement with Sony UK or some Dubai-based company associated with Sony to claim that the rights are not directly bought from the Indian broadcaster,” Sethi claimed while assuring Pakistan fans that the PTV would telecast the series against England and other visiting teams.
Sethi further lambasted the double standards of PCB and Pakistan government stating that the PSL production and broadcasting crew comprise of Indians but the Pakistan government had no issues with it. According to some reports, PTV is in negotiation with Tower Sports, a Dubai based company, to get the broadcasting rights.
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