MIB proposes changes in norms for mandatory sharing of sports feed
The move, the ministry feels, will provide access of sporting events of national importance to maximum people on a free-to-air basis
With an objective to provide access of sporting events of national importance to maximum people on a free-to-air basis, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has proposed to change the norms for mandatory sharing of sports broadcasting feed.
The ministry has issued a notice which reads, “No content rights owner or holder and no television or radio broadcasting service provider shall carry a live television broadcast on any cable or Direct-to-Home network or radio commentary broadcast in India of sporting events of national importance, unless it simultaneously shares the live broadcasting signal, without its advertisements, with the Prasar Bharati to enable them to re-transmit the same on its terrestrial networks and Direct-to-Home networks in such manner and on such terms and conditions as may be specified.”
Explaining the reason behind the proposal, the notice states, “The Sub-section 8(1) of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 provides that: the Central government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the names of Doordarshan channels or the channels operated by or on behalf of Parliament, to be mandatorily carried by the cable operators in their cable service and the manner of reception and re-transmission of such channels”. In exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 8 of the Cable Television networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the Central Government has specified DD National and DD Sports as channels to be mandatorily carried by the cable operators.
However, as per provisions of the Sports Act, the live feed received by Prasar Bharati from the content rights owners or holders is only for the purpose of re-transmission of the said signals on Doordarshan’s own Terrestrial and DTH network (DD FreeDish) and not for cable operators/other networks. As such, the viewers who do not have DD FreeDish or Doordarshan’s terrestrial network are either unable to watch these sporting events of national importance or are compelled to watch these sporting events on highly priced sports channels and thus, the very objective with which the Parliament had enacted the Sports Act, has been defeated, the ministry said in the notice.
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