Prasar Bharati can continue to share live feed of India’s World Cup matches; SC

Prasar Bharati can continue to share live feed of India’s World Cup matches; SC

Supreme court Today allowed Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati to continue to share live feed of cricket World Cup matches with private cable operators as well as granted a stay on the Delhi High Court order in this regard.

Star India Ltd holds the exclusive telecast rights of the Cricket world cup had filed a plea in Delhi High Court where the court asked Prasar Bharati not to share the live feed of the matches with the private cable operators and passed on the plea of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), ESPN and Star.

Prasar Bharati moved to the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court judgment passed on February 4. It is contended that the cable operators were getting live feed free through DD channels, resulting in loss of revenue for them. The Bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that, “ its order staying the operation of the high court verdict will continue till it finally decides the petition of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati”.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre and Prasar Bharati had told that, “it was mandatory for a private channel under the Sports Act and the Cable TV Network Act to share the feeds of matches of "national importance" with Prasar Bharati for providing it on DD's free-to-air terrestrial channels”.

Prior to this, the Supreme Court had sought the response of the public broadcaster on various suggestions mooted by Star India Ltd. One of the suggestions was opening of a new DD channel for showing the cricket matches.

Earlier, the apex court had stayed the Delhi High Court judgment barring Prasar Bharati from sharing with cable operators the live feed of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, while asking Star India, BCCI and Prasar Bharati to come out with their proposals to resolve the dispute.

The bench had said while staying the HC verdict that, “The position of 2007, we are maintaining it for a while. We thought there is something to hear. We will not bring about a situation abruptly. This arrangement under which DD shows free feed has been there for the last seven years. Let it continue," the bench had said while staying the HC verdict”.