President A P J Abdul Kalam is promulgating the Sports Broadcasting Ordinance on February 8 with the India-Sri Lanka cricket series making it mandatory for private broadcasters to share live feed of important sporting events with Prasar Bharati. With this, media buyers are expecting a 25-30 per cent drop in the advertising rates of Neo Sports, which will now have to share the telecast of the upcoming India-Lanka series with Prasar Bharati.
The Ordinance will ensure that millions of cricket lovers who do not have access to cable television as well as radio listeners would receive the live feed of the ODI played by India.
A day after the Union Cabinet cleared the Ordinance, I&B Minister P R Dasmunsi met President Kalam and briefed him about the Government's rationale behind the move, official sources said.
Meanwhile, to assuage the feelings of the private broadcasters, the government has said that a technical committee would look into the matter of encrypting the signals being telecast by Doordarshan, which would ensure that the feed was not accessed by broadcasters outside India.
The idea of reaching terrestrial viewers through Doordarshan on big sporting occasions has also made advertisers and media buyers happy. According to the Ordinance issued by the government on February 1, all private sports broadcasters will now have to share their signals live and without advertisements with Doordarshan.
However, because of mandatory sharing of all one-day internationals held outside India, media buyers expect a dip of 15-20 per cent in the ad rates on ESPN, Ten Sports or Zee Sports in comparison to the rates these channels were charging during the pre-mandatory sharing days.