Betting adverts removed from Pakistan broadcast of Melbourne Test

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Pakistan will be provided an advertisement-free feed of the ongoing Test series in Australia. The broadcast pictures provided to the Pakistani market until now had included a gambling sponsor superimposed into the coverage, and had let to the Pakistan state broadcaster, PTV, not broadcasting the first day of the Boxing Day Test. Ten Sports, which also has rights to air the series between Pakistan and Australia, continued to broadcast the game.

However, Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a notification on Tuesday prohibiting “broadcast/distribution of advertisement of surrogate companies which are promoting gambling/betting in different sporting events being telecast/broadcast in the country”.

That led to concerns the Test wouldn’t be broadcast in Pakistan at all, though Ten Sports continued to broadcast the game from the start of the second day with a betting sponsor superimposed into the on-field coverage.

However, ESPNcricinfo understands the feed provided to Pakistan will no longer include any such advertisements that may breach local laws, which theoretically enables PTV to begin showing live pictures from Melbourne as well, even though at the time of writing, coverage on the state broadcaster has not yet resumed. The clean feed provided to Pakistan is expected to begin imminently.

PTV had issued a statement yesterday saying they had pulled coverage adhering to the government’s “zero tolerance policy” for surrogate advertising and “had taken up the issue with the relevant broadcaster”, saying the “series will be telecast live once the matter is resolved”.

The first Test was broadcast on both the PTV and all private broadcasters without interruption.

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