ISLAMABAD, Aug 31: Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) has failed to submit its bid for purchasing the rights of Pakistan-South Africa and Pakistan-Sri Lanka cricket series, scheduled to be held in United Arab Emirates between Oct 2013 and Jan 2014.

South Africa is to play five One-day internationals and two T20s besides two Tests against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates from Oct 14 this year. Soon afterwards, Pakistan would host Sri Lanka at the same venue between Dec 2013 and Jan 2014. The series would comprise three Test matches, five ODIs and two Twenty20 games.

“Owing to PTV’s failure to participate in the broadcasting rights process, its sports channel will suffer a major loss,” an official of the Information Ministry said on condition of anonymity.

The official added that PTV’s failure to submit its bid for securing the broadcasting rights has now left the field open for the two other competitors — one of them a private sports channel and the other an international sports network — to contest for the rights of the back-to-back cricket series in the UAE.

“Now only two broadcasters will fight for the Pakistan-South Africa and Pakistan-Sri Lanka cricket series when the bids will be announced by the PCB in the coming days,” said the official.

It may be mentioned that the PTV successfully won the broadcasting rights for the 2011 World Cup beside several other leading sporting events in the past two years during the tenure of former Chairman Yousaf Baig Mirza and generated a huge revenue from selling the advertisement slots through PTV Sports channel.

It is, indeed, surprising how the national network has now backed out of the bids process at the last moment on this important occasion.

When approached for his comments, the Managing Director of PTV Mustafa Kamal Qazi said: “I have no idea whether the PTV has submitted its bid or not at the PCB for the broadcasting rights. Kindly approach Col Hasan, director of the PTV Sports Channel, for proper feedback on the issue. I have no comments to offer on this matter,” asserted Qazi.

Another senior official of the PTV Sports channel, refusing to make his views on record, when asked to comment, claimed: “We haven’t lost any thing by not becoming a part of bids process, simply because whoever wins the rights of broadcasting the two series in the UAE, will have to collaborate with us as per the PCB guidelines and PTV is the only terrestrial channel in the country.”

The official, however, did not elaborate as to why the PTV failed in submitting its bid for the South Africa, Sri Lanka series.

PCB’s Media Manager Nadeem Sarwar, when asked to comment on PTV’s strange attitude, said: “We can’t comment on the matter as to whether PTV has submitted its bid or not for media rights of the two cricket series since the whole process is a confidential one.

“Once the process of television bid is complete we will be able to brief the media,” Nadeem said.

Nadeem informed Dawn that expression of interest for the sale of media rights for the two cricket series was floated by the PCB in the first week of the August and Friday (yesterday) was the closing date for the submission of bids.

Meanwhile, despite several attempts neither director PTV Sports Col Hasan nor Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervez Rashid could be reached for their comments on the matter.


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