PTV-ARY ‘consortium’ violates court order


ISLAMABAD: A consortium of Pakistan Television Network (PTV) and ARY has won a bid for broadcasting rights of PSL-7 and 8 in a clear violation of the Lahore High Court’s 2011 verdict.

The state-run television PTV has entered into partnership with ARY without any competition or inviting bids, which is not only a violation of the LHC verdict, but also a perfect example of favoritism. Both the parties partnered for the PSL bids in a non-transparent manner.

In 2011, the LHC ordered against concluding any contract unless it was based on a transparent and competitive bidding process. However, the state-run TV in a non-transparent manner formed a consortium to bid for the rights despite a strong protest of the other bidder Geo Super.

The PTV-ARY consortium initially quoted the bid price of Rs2.1 billion whereas Geo Super, while following the instructions of the bidding process, quotedRs3.36 billion price for two years. However, the PTV-ARY consortium claimed that their offer was only for a year.

Apparently, during the first phase of the bidding process, Geo Super’s offer was higher than the PTV-ARY consortium after which the ARY clarified that their quoted price was only for one year. The PCB bidding committee asked all the bidders to rebid.

During the rebidding process, the ARY and PTV offered Rs4.35 billion for two years whereas, Geo Super offered Rs3.74 billion for two years. The Geo management protested the formation of PTV-ARY partnership without inviting other parties, as it was clearly against the court’s verdict. However, the PCB’s bidding committee said this was beyond their jurisdiction and up to Geo to take up the matter with any relevant platform.

Interestingly, the PTV invited other parties for partnership of broadcasting rights of ICC T20 Worldcup 2021. But it ignored its own policy for PSL and without inviting other parties to compete for the partnership, it joined hands with the ARY.

On November 25, 2011, the Lahore High Court in its judgment, written by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, issued a notice to the respondents (PTV etc.) to report whether they were proposing to confer public property to a private entity without conducting transparent and fair bidding.

The court ordered that notices be issued to the respondents (PTV etc.) and said, “Unless the MoU is based on transparent and competitive bidding, the respondents shall not conclude any contract.”

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