The Delhi High Court has restrained all cable operators from unauthorised broadcasting of the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 through their cable networks. The tournament is being currently telecast on ESPN and STAR Cricket.
ESPN-STAR Sports is the official broadcaster of the ICC World Twenty20. The channel had filed a suit for permanent injunction against cable operators across the country against unauthorised broadcast of the ICC World Twenty20.
ESPN-STAR Sports, in its suit before the Delhi High Court, claimed that it had the sole and exclusive rights from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to telecast ICC properties exclusively in India, including ICC World Twenty20. ESPN contended that many cable operators throughout the country had indulged in rampant cable piracy after the tournament started on September 11, 2007.
A release from ESPN-STAR Sports stated that after this order anyone still showing ICC World Twenty20 tournament through any unauthorised means or any other channel would be held in contempt of court and would be liable for prosecution. The Delhi High Court has also permitted ESPN-STAR Sports to take action against all other cable operators not party to the suit that are found to be utilising the feed of ESPN and STAR Cricket without license.
Rajesh Kaul, Vice President –Affiliate Sales, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “We are delighted by the verdict. The injunction will help us curb the rampant piracy that is taking place in certain parts of the country.”
Justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul of the Delhi High Court prima facie being satisfied by the material disclosed to it by ESPN, restrained the 22 named cable operators from transmitting and/or telecasting in any manner whatsoever without license.
The Delhi High Court has also injuncted unnamed cable operators who may be found to be indulging in cable piracy of cricket matches involving ICC World Twenty20. The concerned police authorities have been directed to render all assistance to ESPN to enforce the order of injunction passed on September 18.
The said cable operators have been restrained from telecasting/ transmitting ESPN, STAR Sports, STAR Cricket, Fox Sports and Super Sports or any other channel or in any other manner infringing the copyright/ re-broadcast right of ESPN-STAR Sports.