The Supreme Court has forbidden Prasar Bharati from airing its programme `Fourth Umpire' during the lunch breaks of the on going India-Pakistan one day international matches and instead carry the "uninterrupted feed" of the matches received from Ten Sports.
A Bench comprising Mr Justice Ashok Bhan and Mr Justice Arun Kumar gave this direction after Ten Sports filed a complaint alleging that Prasar Bharati has been violating the January 30, 2007 order that directed the public broadcaster to carry the uninterrupted feed from beginning to the end.
Prasar Bharati, on its part maintained that Doordarshan was carrying the feed uninterrupted and that `Fourth Empire' was aired only during the lunch break when there was no live coverage of the match. However, the Bench said "uninterrupted means from the beginning till the end" and asked Doordarshan not to insert its own programme during lunch hours.
Prasar Bharati had tried to iron out the issue with Ten Sports outside the court yesterday, but the efforts failed and Ten Sports took up the matter before the Court today.
According to sources, Prasar Bharati could have generated some revenue from the show, since the national broadcaster was not allowed to insert its own ads during the match. Fair & Lovely was the main sponsor for this match discussion show.
Sharing of telecast rights for the Indo-Pak series became a controversy. The private sports broadcaster had agreed to share only a daily one-and-a-half hour highlights package of the test matches. For the ODIs, Prasar Bharati had to deposit with the Court Rs 15 crore and had to carry the feed along with Ten Sports ads and logo.