Prasar Bharati is serving legal notices to channels that have aired footage of the India-Pakistan series, the exclusive telecast rights of which lie with the pubcaster. The channels that were served notices include ESPN, Star Sports, India TV, NDTV 24x7, NDTV India, Star News, Sahara Samay Rashtriya, Aaj Tak, TV9 Telugu News, Asianet News Global, ETV2 and CNBC TV-18.
K S Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharati, said, "This matter is crystal clear and doesn't require any discussion. What these channels have committed is piracy. The legal notices have been served to all of them yesterday and action will be taken."
News channels had the right to show the footage provided it did not exceed two minutes. What the channel has taken objection is the programming that news channels spun out of the cricket footage. In this case DD has decided to charge for anything extra that is shown on these channels, the rate being Rs 6,000 per minute of footage aired.
"Ideally we would like to adhere to these rules and regulation designed by Prasar Bharati in regards to the Indo-Pak series. However, India TV has been following it. Nonetheless, they have a point of view and as soon as possible we'll give an appropriate reply," said India TV's Rajat Sharma.
ESPN Star Sports spokesperson said, "We did follow the procedures that the broadcaster laid down for using their footage. Now, we can only start doing things when the notice reaches us."
Interestingly, reports in the media last week had mentioned that channels like ESPN, Star Sports and NDTV had bought the footage from DD according to rules laid by them. However, Prasar Bharati officials insisted that no arrangement was made for the kind of airing that most channels have done.