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Ten Sports told to share feed

16-March-2004
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Ten Sports told to share feed

The Supreme Court yesterday directed Ten Sports to share its live feed with Doordarshan for the telecast of the second one-day international match today at Rawalpindi, pending a final hearing on March 17.

However, uncertainty over the telecast of the rest of the series continues, with Ten Sports telling the court that it does not hold the rights for the telecast signals generated in Pakistan, which belong to its parent company Taj TV Private Ltd.

Thus, giving simultaneous telecast feed to Doordarshan would be a breach of its contract with Taj TV, the original rights holder, Ten Sports said. As a result, there was a possibility that no feed would be available in India, it added.

Meanwhile, Modi Entertainment Network, Ten Sports’ Indian distributor, wanted the court to record its submission so that it should not be held guilty of contempt of court if the live signals did not reach it tomorrow for the Rawalpindi match.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice VN Khare, said, “We do not want to pre-judge the issue. We will see if you are in contempt or not on Wednesday.”

Keeping in mind Ten Sports’ appeal for a final hearing on March 17, the court directed Doordarshan and Prasar Bharati to deposit Rs 10 crore with the registrar general of the Supreme Court, pending the adjudication of the dispute.

However, Doordarshan will not be able to earn quick money the way it did during the telecast of the first match on Saturday -- by inserting its own advertisements.

Deferring the final hearing till Wednesday on the appeal filed by Taj TV India challenging the orders of the high courts in Chennai and Mumbai directing it to share the live feed with DD, a three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Khare, Justice S B Sinha and Justice S H Kapadia, directed that the national channel will show the telecast without substituting the original advertisements of Ten Sports with its own.

Attorney General Soli Sorabjee and Solicitor General Kirit Raval appeared for the government and Prasar Bharati, while senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Harish Salve appeared for Ten Sports and Modi Entertainment Network, respectively.

Ten Sports, which holds the exclusive rights for the distribution of the feed, had agreed before the Supreme Court on Friday to provide live signals to DD only for the match in Karachi, and the court had posted its appeal for hearing.

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