Prasar Bharati's efforts to get terrestrial rights of the forthcoming Indo-Pak series for Doordarshan is likely to come to a naught. Taj Television, which owns Ten Sports and has the exclusive rights, is not willing to share the rights with the national broadcaster.
Mr Chris McDonald, CEO of Taj Television told Business Line that, "Other than the financial side, the idea is to show the matches exclusively on Ten Sports. We are trying to share as much as we can by offering a highlights package and the radio rights."
Ten Sports has offered a one-hour daily highlights package to Doordarshan at $2,00,000 (around Rs 90 lakh) and the radio rights to All India Radio at $40,000 (around Rs 18 lakh). Mr McDonald also added that Prasar Bharati has not made any financial offer to the broadcaster.
Yesterday, Prasar Bharati officials had told the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that it was willing to pay $4 million (around Rs 18 crore) to acquire the terrestrial rights.
Today the TRAI also seemed to have expressed its helplessness in the issue. Mr Pradip Baijal, Chairman of TRAI said, "I don't think we have powers to do anything in this matter... there is no legal provision within the country to help us solve this issue." The TRAI can only mediate between Ten Sports and Prasar Bharati.
The CEO of Prasar Bharati, Mr K.S. Sarma, had met Mr Baijal where he cited that in several Western countries events of national importance are made available on free terrestrial role. "Prasar Bharati believes that TRAI has both the responsibility and the powers to frame guidelines and statutes from time to time to ensure that public interest is upheld," said a letter written by Prasar Bharati to TRAI.
Meanwhile, the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has also expressed its inability to intervene in the matter. "There is no legal recourse and therefore our hands are tied," said a Government official.