The Delhi High Court ordered in favour of ESPN-STAR Sports in its suit for permanent injunction filed against cable operators across the country against unauthorised broadcast of the ongoing UEFA Euro 2008 and the forthcoming Asia Cup 2008, starting later this month, restraining all cable operators from unauthorisedly showing the two tournaments through their cable networks.
The UEFA Euro 2008 is being telecast on ESPN and STAR Sports, while Asia Cup 2008 cricket tournament would be telecast on ESPN and STAR Cricket.
ESPN in its suit before the Delhi High Court claimed that the defendants, approximately 100 cable operators, were taking unauthorised connections and were unauthorisedly accessing signals of the plaintiff without taking license from the company.
After this order, anyone showing UEFA Euro 2008 and Asia Cup 2008 through any unauthorised means or any other channel would be held in contempt of court and liable for prosecution. The Delhi High Court has also permitted ESPN to take action against all other cable operators not party to the suit, but are found to be unauthorisedly utilising the feed of ESPN, STAR Sports and STAR Cricket.
Speaking on the occasion, Vijay Rajput, COO, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “We are delighted with the verdict. The High Court has made it clear that piracy will not be tolerated. We will have a team of observers across the country to ensure that piracy does not happen and in case we spot any, we will align with the police to bring the guilty to book.”
Justice Sunil Gaur of the Delhi High Court prima facie being satisfied by the material disclosed to it by ESPN restrained the 100 named cable operators from transmitting and/or telecasting in any manner whatsoever without license from ESPN. The said cable operators have been restrained from telecasting/transmitting any other channel or in any other manner infringing the copyright/re-broadcast right of ESPN-STAR Sports.
The Delhi High Court has also injuncted unnamed cable operators who may be found to be indulging in cable piracy of the two tournaments. The concerned police authorities have been directed to render all assistance to ESPN to enforce the order of injunction.