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Lahore match hit by television rights row

A row between state-owned PTV and the private GEO channel on Saturday blocked the live coverage of the one-day match between Pakistan and New Zealand.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2003 19:25 IST

Saturday's one-day match between Pakistan and New Zealand was not televised due to a row over transmission rights between the state-run Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and the local cricket board.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sold the rights for the five-match series to the private GEO channel, but PTV claimed there was no proper bidding process.

The state-run Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority sided with the PTV and did not provide an up-link facility to GEO for Saturday's match to be screened.

Ramiz Raja, chief executive of PCB, said PTV had opted not to participate in the bidding process.

"Everyone knew this series was up for sale. It was no big secret," he said. "We sold the rights to the highest bidder."

It was the first time since 1967 that an international cricket match in Pakistan was not aired, triggering a flood of calls to the PCB's offices by angry fans.

Last year, PCB sold Pakistan television rights for a five-year period to a Dubai-based channel, Taj Sports Network, for $43 million. However the New Zealand series was not included in the deal.

First Published: Nov 29, 2003 19:23 IST