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High Court orders ESPN Star Sports to stop airing India Cricket highlights

14-October-2002
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High Court orders ESPN Star Sports to stop airing India Cricket highlights

Last Tuesday, ESPN STAR Sports announced the acquisition of telecast rights to feature daily highlights of all international cricket played in India till September 2004. It had subsequently promoted highlights of the current India Vs West Indies series aggressively, tying substantial advertising. But last Friday, Delhi High Court served a notice to ESPN Star Sports to stop the highlights telecast of these events.

Acting on the courts judgment, ESPN SS stopped airing the highlights after two days of telecast of the first Test of India Vs West Indies series. ESPN SS stated that they have acted in good faith that TWI/Stracon (acting for PCC) had the rights of the events, and showed the highlights for the first 2 days of the match in Mumbai.

In a publicized development, ESPN SS had announced the acquisition of Highlights rights for all international cricket played in India till September 2004¸including the current India West Indies series, from Richard Li's Pacific Century Corporation (PCC). Modi Entertainment Network (MEN), which distributes DD Sports channel, and Doordarshan, stated in the court argument, that it had the exclusive rights to the transmission of all cricket matches played in India. The court withheld the argument and ordered ESPN SS to stop the telecast.

While honoring the Court's judgment, ESPN SS has urged PCC's representatives TWI/Stracon to contest the claims. ESPN SS on Saturday said, "We certainly expect TWI/Stracon to appeal the decision immediately."

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