The Supreme Court, in an interim order passed on Tuesday, has given provisional rights to Doordarshan to telecast the Australia and South Africa cricket series and given international syndication rights to Sony. But it also instructed Prasar Bharti, BCCI and Sony to keep full accounts of all earnings and expenses so that “if the final decision is in favour of Zee, then its commercial interests could be protected on the basis of the revenue accounts filed by the parties”.
While proceedings under Zee Telefilm’s writ petition -- where the status of BCCI as “state” is being debated – continue, the provisional rights imply that the Supreme Court has, as of now, decided not to intervene in the cricket rights case filed against BCCI by Zee Telefilms. However, the clouds are still hovering over BCCI and its boss Jagmohan Dalmiya. If the Cricket Board is held to be a “state”, BCCI may be hard put to defend its handling of the telecast rights issue, and Zee may yet to get to telecast all international cricket that’s played after the Supreme Court verdict is announced.
The provisional rights cover three events -- the India-Autralia four-Test series, the India-Pakistan Platinum Jubilee match on November 13 and the two-Test series between India and South Africa starting in and ending on December 12.