The Delhi High Court has ordered Nimbus to share the feed of the ongoing India-West Indies cricket series with public broadcaster Prasar Bharti. Doordarshan has been allowed to telecast the matches deferred live with a delay of seven minutes.
The order comes as a great relief for cricket fans in India as they will now get to watch the remaining matches between India and West Indies, albeit with a delay of seven minutes. AIR has also been given the permission to air commentary on the matches.
The next hearing of the case is on February 8, 2007.
Meanwhile, Nimbus in an official communiqué stated that it had begun the process of trying to persuade its neighbouring country international licensees and its domestic cable and satellite licensee, Neo Sports to accept the two over/7 minute time delay as an interim measure of protection against privacy.
“While Nimbus is disappointed that a 15-minute delay has not been granted as an alternative to encryption, it respects the Hon’ble Court’s interim order and is not considering an appeal at this stage. Nimbus’ production team, engineers, advertising operations team and play out team executives are in a complete state of operational alertness to cooperate in full with Doordarshan and All India Radio to make the broadcast of the forthcoming cricket matches a success,” the communiqué further stated.
Reacting to the Court’s order, a Prasar Bharti official said, “I am happy that they have rejected the offer by Nimbus to share the feed with conditions like 15-minute deferred telecast. Doordarshan will now telecast it with a delay of seven minutes. Right now Nimbus has accepted the order wholeheartedly. Let’s see what happens in the next hearing on February 8.”
A Nimbus spokesperson commented that they had accepted the order of the High Court wholeheartedly. “We are again meeting Prasar Bharti to discuss other issues,” he said.
On January 22, 2007, Nimbus Communication had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Centre’s uplinking guidelines that made it mandatory to share its feed with Prasar Bharati. Nimbus had bought the rights to telecast cricket in India for $612 million. This includes all cricket matches played in India till March 2010. Nimbus went to court to challenge the government’s guidelines that made it mandatory for private broadcasters to share cricket feeds with DD.
Millions of viewers missed India’s victory in the Nagpur ODI match because of the cricket blackout on Doordarshan.
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