The Government has finally notified a list of sports events, which would have to be shared by private broadcasters holding telecast rights with public service broadcaster – Prasar Bharati – under the ‘national importance’ clause of uplinking and downlinking policies. The list covers five major international sports – tennis, hockey, football, chess, snooker and billiards. Cricket has already been covered by the downlinking guidelines.
The government communication says “Live feeds, without any advertisements of the sports channels / sports rights holders, of the sporting events of national importance held in India or abroad are required to be shared with Prasar Bharati with immediate effect by sports channels / sports management companies having television broadcasting rights, for broadcast on their terrestrial and DTH networks.”
The list had been drawn up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting after consultations with the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Prasar Bharati and the Sports Channels and Sports Rights Holders Companies, the Ministry said in a statement. The list will be valid for five years and will be subject to review annually.
Among international sporting events, the list includes Summer and Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Afro-Asian Games.
In tennis, all Davis Cup matches featuring India and semi-final and final matches, all Grand Slam matches, including those matches featuring an Indian player in the quarter finals and above and final matches of WTA Championships.
In hockey, all matches featuring India and the semi-finals and finals of the Hockey World Cup and the Champions Trophy, semi-finals and final of Beighton Cup, and Indira Gandhi Gold Cup Hockey in the domestic circuit.
In football, the semi-finals and final of FIFA World Cup and European Cup and all matches featuring India, and semi-finals and final of the Asia Cup, semi-finals and final of Subroto Cup, Santosh Trophy, Federation Cup, Durand Cup, National Women Football Championship and Junior National Football Championship.
In chess, the final of the World Chess Championship and the Chess Olympiad, including all matches featuring an Indian player in the quarter finals and above.
In billiards and snooker, the list includes finals of the World Championships, including all matches featuring an Indian player in quarter finals and above.
With the issue of the list of sporting events, India joined the league of Australia, the UK, Italy and other members of the European Union, who had similar guidelines to ensure that all sporting events of national importance were made available to the public in a free-to-air mode, Prasar Bharati said in a statement.