The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained national broadcaster Prasar Bharati from telecasting the upcoming India-West Indies series on Doordarshan. Hearing a petition filed by Ten Sports, who has the exclusive telecast rights for the upcoming series, the Supreme Court directed Prasar Bharati not to take any action against Ten Sports in this regard.
The Dubai based sports broadcaster had appealed to the Supreme Court to restrain Doordarshan from simultaneously telecasting the upcoming ODI and Test series with West Indies, contending that it would suffer huge loss. The downlinking policy of the government has made it binding on private broadcasters to share the live feed of sports events of national importance with Prasar Bharati.
The channel had held that if interim relief was not granted, the order of the Court, delivered before the recent Indo-Pak series, would become ineffective. The Court had allowed live telecast of the Indo-Pak ODIs on Doordarshan after an agreement was reached between Ten Sports and Prasar Bharati that the latter would deposit in court a sum of Rs 15 crore.
Ten Sports also had asked the Court to restrict Prasar Bharati from telecasting the forthcoming US Open and French Open championships. But the Court asked it to file fresh application for the same.
The I&B Ministry had recently come out with a comprehensive list of sports events that have to be shared with Doordarshan. This includes football, tennis, hockey, chess, billiards and snooker.
Meanwhile, on the issue of the downlinking policy, the Court asked the government as to why it was not passing appropriate legislation regarding the policy.