The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has recently issued a strongly worded letter addressing the issue of betting company advertisements during the first test match between Pakistan and Australia earlier this month. The letter, directed to various entities including the Pakistan Cricket Board, Pakistan Television, and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, expresses concern over reported violations of clear instructions against broadcasting advertisements from betting companies or their surrogate counterparts.
Despite explicit directives, the letter notes that these violations occurred during the mentioned test match. It emphasizes the need for all relevant entities, collectively referred to as ‘the concerned,’ to ensure strict compliance with the ministry’s instructions. Furthermore, the letter urges a thorough investigation to determine the reasons behind this lapse in adherence to guidelines.
Specifically addressing Pakistan Television (PTV), the ministry instructs PTV to engage with its parent companies, insisting that they terminate agreements with advertisers if ad placement guidelines are not rigorously followed.
In a broader context, the letter advises the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to take decisive action against all illegal betting, gambling, and casino companies operating within Pakistan. Additionally, it recommends the establishment of a specialized wing within the PTA to actively monitor and address such issues to curb any potential recurrence.
The background of this stern response can be traced back to a scandal during this year’s Pakistan Super League, where involvement with betting companies led to a ban on betting ads. Some players even opted to refuse sponsorships from these companies as a consequence of the controversy. The ministry’s letter serves as a proactive measure to prevent a recurrence of such incidents and uphold the integrity of sports broadcasting in the country.