Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati is set to claim damages of Rs 4-5 crore from over a dozen news channels for illegal usage of Doordarshan’s (DD’s) exclusive coverage of 2008 Beijing Olympics, from August 8.
Several news channels, especially in the last few days, have been using the live telecast of Olympics by DD Sports on their channels, including the games involving Indian sportspersons like Sushil Kumar (wrestling), Vijender Kumar (boxing), Abhinav Bindra (shooting), Saina Nehwal (badminton) and Anju Bobby George (athletics), among others.
“We are going to the Delhi High Court on Monday for claiming damages from the news channels with whom our legal case is currently going on over the illegal use of Doordarshan’s exclusive Beijing Olympics coverage without any prior commercial agreement,” a senior Doordarshan official told Business Standard.
According to the Prasar Bharati rate card for footage sale, the private television channels have to make a payment of Rs 5,000 per 10 seconds for using any exclusive footage from Doordarshan (archival or live).
Prasar Bharati has also managed to obtained an order from the Delhi High Court restraining all private news channels from sharing the Doordarshan’s exclusive coverage of Beijing Olympics, unless the channels enter into a commercial agreement with Prasar Bharati and the Indian Olympics Association.
According to the copyright norms, no news channel can telecast more than 10 seconds of exclusive footage from any broadcaster on this channels at one go and not more than 120 seconds of such footage in 24-hours.
“We will charge these news channels on the basis of the number of minutes or hours of our exclusive feed that they have used,” the Doordarshan official said.
It should be noted that Prasar Bharati is expecting to recover its cost of telecasting the Beijing Olympics via selling advertising spots and from the sale of its footage to other news channels.
However, a number of private broadcasters, including the news channels, have shown several hours of Doordarshan’s exclusive footage without making any payment.