Cricket fans all over India will have to wait a bit longer to know whether they will be able to watch the current India-West Indies series on Doordarshan. The Nimbus-DD spat over sharing of telecast rights is far from being resolved with both sides digging in their heels.
Reacting to media reports regarding the first ODI between India and West Indies not being telecast on the pubcaster, an official communiqué from Nimbus stated, “Nimbus is distressed to find that disinformation is being spread by Prasar Bharati that Nimbus refused to provide Doordarshan the signal of the India vs West Indies cricket match on Sunday, January 21, 2007.”
“The truth is that vide our letter dated January 20, 2007, we made a ‘without prejudice’ offer to provide the clean signal (without commercials) of the event to Doordarshan, and it is Doordarshan who did not accept this offer,” the communiqué added.
“For the Sunday match, in the interests of the viewer, Nimbus had advised Doordarshan vide letter dated January 20, 2007 that they could take the live coverage signal subject to Nimbus’ rights to legal redress. The blame, therefore, rests entirely with Doordarshan,” asserted Nimbus.
While the information sent from Nimbus stated that it had offered All India Radio the radio rights on the same revenue sharing formula, that is, 75:25, as proposed by Doordarshan for TV, the pubcaster had a different version, when insiders informed that this time Nimbus had put forward new conditions – some of which were not acceptable to Prasar Bharati. Nimbus wants 15 minute deferred telecast on DD referred ‘as live’ implying that people having cable TV would get live feed on New and those watching DD’s terrestrial channel will come to know of the event / outcome 15 minutes later.
However, in the communiqué Nimbus stated that All India Radio declined the 75:25 offer in writing and counter proposed a revenue sharing formula of 50:50 “clearly betraying that Prasar Bharati is only seeking cricket with a view to commercial gain rather than any sense of public interest”.
The release also said that Nimbus executives once again met Prasar Bharati officials late on Saturday, January 20, and yet again on Sunday, January 21, to reiterate Nimbus’ offer, but Prasar Bharati declined it.
Now, Nimbus proposes to meet with Prasar Bharati officials again on Monday, January 22, to prevail upon it to take a constructive approach that respects the commercial rights of other parties and yet enables Doordarshan and AIR to serve those members of the public who do not have access to cable TV or any form of TV.
We certainly haven’t heard the last of it, even as cricket fans await the outcome of the Monday meeting.
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