‘Not Kashmir policy’: Ex-PCB chairman hits out at board, says not ready to pay broadcasters

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Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has said that if Pakistan Television does not telecast live national team’s bilateral series matches in England next month, it will not be due to Pakistan’s Kashmir policy against India, rather the PTV is not ready to pay what the broadcasters are demanding to telecast the said series in Pakistan, Dawn newspaper reported.

“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.

According to Sethi, matters such as telecasting an international cricket series featuring Pakistan never needed any approval from the cabinet in the past noting it was a long-held PTV tradition to live telecast the matches involving the national team playing anywhere in the world.

In any case, he said, the PSL production teams are manned by Indians and there are no restrictions on them imposed by the PCB or the government.

Meanwhile, sources said the PTV had to pay the arrears of past six years to Sony TV, the Indian broadcasters, which will cover the series between England and Pakistan, comprising three One-day Internationals and three Twenty20 games.

The PTV, sources added, is in negotiations with Tower Sports to get the rights from it as it is a Dubai-based company headed by a Pakistani named Zahid Noorani, so that the PTV will be in a position to complete the arrangements.

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