PSL media rights: LHC seeks more arguments
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Tuesday sought more arguments on the maintainability of a writ petition challenging media rights of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2016-18 given to two channels-PTV Sports and Ten Sports.
Justice Ayesha A Malik heard the arguments and adjourned further hearing till January 4, 2016. A citizen had filed the petition through his counsel Advocate Shahzada Mazhar and contended that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gave media rights to two TV channels and did not follow the rules in this regard.
The petitioner stated that the board initiated venture of the media rights sale for the PSL series and outsourced the invitation for bids to this effect, which was published in all leading newspapers on Sept 6, 2015.
He pointed out that as per details of the advertisements, the bids of the interested contractors were to be submitted on Oct 30 after fulfilling the detailed requirement criteria mentioned in the invitation tender (ITT) documents and the bids were supposed to be opened on the same date as well.
The lawyer said the PCB in complete contravention of the laws deviated from the terms issued by the ministry of sports and instead of selling the media rights via a fair and transparent bid process, issued a press release on Dec 3 wherein the board announced the broadcasting of the matches of PSL in Pakistan on PTV Sports and Ten Sports for the period of 2016-2018.
The lawyer stated that any finalization of the media rights, the selection of the two channels for broadcasting of matches being made, was an illegality in itself being ultra vires and contrary to the ITT document and the Public Procurement Rules 2004. He said the step of selling media rights to PTV Sports and TEN Sports, and announcement of the same through press release was the impugned action of the PCB and be declared illegal, devoid of legal force and merits and liable to be set aside.
He prayed to the court that the respondents be directed to conduct the process of acquisition of media rights for PSL and media advertising rights for PSL 2016-2018, according to the prescribed law and the provisions of the ITT Document.
He also prayed that the respondents be restrained from any further proceedings based on the ‘illegal’ selection and the press release and the advertisement till final decision of the petition.