Arrangement made with UK-based channel for coverage of England series

Published July 3, 2021
England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, reacts after hitting a boundary during the second Twenty20 cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 30, 2020. — AP/File
England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, reacts after hitting a boundary during the second Twenty20 cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 30, 2020. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The government has made arrangements for live coverage of Pakistan’s coming one-day and Twenty20 matches in England through a UK-based TV channel, averting a crisis-like situation that had emerged after the federal cabinet refused to approve the telecast through an Indian network.

“We have made arrangements for the coverage and an agreement has been inked with a UK-based TV channel,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn on Friday.

About the fee to be charged by the UK-based channel, the minister said: “It is higher than that being asked by Indian channels.” In reply to a question, he said he did not have details of the agreement.

On June 9, the federal cabinet had categorically rejected the option of seeking services of two Indian TV channels to telecast the Pakistan-England cricket series.

The rejection of the proposal landed Pakistan Television (PTV) in a fix on how to show the matches to local viewers.

The decision not to sign a contract with two Indian channels (Star TV and Sony TV) was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The first ODI between Pakistan and England is scheduled for July 8.

“A crisis-like situation has arisen for the PTV with regard to broadcasting the cricket series,” the information minister had said after the June 9 cabinet meeting.

At a press conference after the meeting, the minister had said: “The federal cabinet has rejected PTV’s request to sign an agreement with an Indian channel to telecast the cricket matches.”

However, he added, the government was working on an alternative plan.

“Ties with India cannot improve until it reverses its Aug 5, 2019, action in occupied Kashmir,” he had said while citing the reason behind the rejection of PTV’s request.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2021

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